Luis Arturo Marroquín killed
At approximately 9:00 am on 9 May 2018, human rights defender Luis Arturo Marroquín was killed when leaving a local bookshop in San Luís Jilotepéque. Two hooded men had followed him from Jalapa to San Luís Jilotepéque. From a black Toyota Hilux truck, the perpetrators shot the defender in the back several times
Luis Arturo Marroquín was the political coordinator for Eastern Guatemala at the Farmers’ Development Committee (Comité de Desarrollo Campesino – CODECA) and was also part of the National Directorate of this organisation. CODECA is a human rights organisation of indigenous farmers dedicated to promoting land rights and rural development for indigenous families in Guatemala through social participation, effective advocacy on public policies, and participation in inclusive programs to reduce the vulnerability of indigenous communities in the country.
At approximately 9:00 am on 9 May 2018, human rights defender Luis Arturo Marroquín was killed when leaving a local bookshop in San Luís Jilotepéque. Two hooded men had followed him from Jalapa to San Luís Jilotepéque. From a black Toyota Hilux truck, the perpetrators shot the defender in the back several times.
Human rights defenders of CODECA have previously been targeted for their legitimate work on land and indigenous rights. Three members have previously been imprisoned and one was killed while participating in a peaceful protest. CODECA and its members have also been targeted by racist and discriminatory social media comments, with even President Jimmy Morales having repeatedly stigmatized the work of CODECA.
Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the killing of human rights defender Luis Arturo Marroquín, as it believes that his assassination is linked to his legitimate human rights work. Front Line Defenders expresses further concern for the criminalisation, killings, attacks and smear campaigns against CODECA and its members.
Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Guatemala to:
1. Strongly condemn the killing of human rights defender Luis Arturo Marroquín;
2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of CODECA members, in coordination with the defenders;
3. Carry out an immediate, thorough, and impartial investigation into the assassination of Luis Arturo Marroquín, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;
4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Guatemala are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.