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Juan Eduardo Caal Suram

HRD & member
Gremial de Pescadores Artesanales – GPA (Artisanal Fishermen’s Guild)

Juan Eduardo Caal Suram is a member of the indigenous Maya-Q’eqchi' community and an environmental and land rights defender. He is a member of the Gremial de Pescadores Artesanales – GPA (Artisanal Fishermen’s Guild), which, alongside several other local organisations, tries to protect Maya-Q’eqchi' communities in El Estor, Izabal, from contamination which may affect their land and endanger their livelihood as a result of nickel mining activities in the region.

Since Otto Pérez Molina assumed the role of President in January 2012, cases of harassment and threats against HRDs have been on the rise. Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Guatemala are subjected to death threats, physical attacks, acts of harassment, surveillance, stigmatisation, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, forced disappearance and killings. Many of the violations are carried out by clandestine security structures and illegal groups. The exceptionally high level of impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators increases the risk exponentially for HRDs.