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Rigoberto Lima Choc

Rigoberto Lima Choc


Rigoberto Lima Choc was the first person to document the environmental damage occurring due to the activities of the Empresa Reforestadora de Palma de Petén SA – REPSA in the Río de la Pasión. The local community believe the damage amounts to “ecocide”, meaning that they are now unable to use the river for fishing and drinking as they had before. The human rights defender presented a complaint to the authorities and he appeared as a witness in a case against REPSA. He was killed on 18 September 2015.

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.