EEAS Spokesperson on Human Rights Defenders in Guatemala
Condemning the killing of human rights defenders in Guatemala, the Spokesperson of the European Union External Action released the following statement on 17 August 2016:
Over the last six months, ten Human Right Defenders have been assassinated in Guatemala. Many other people were threatened and intimidated, including journalists, trade unionists and justice operators. The EU condemns these acts and expresses its sincere condolences for the families and loved ones of those affected. Those responsible need to be held accountable.
These deplorable events have happened in a time of continued efforts by many actors to combat corruption and ensure the respect of the Rule of Law in the country – notably the Executive and Judiciary powers as well as the Prosecutor General´s Office, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and Civil Society Organisations.
It is thus all the more important to maintain these efforts and to vigorously step up the fight against collusion and impunity. The EU acknowledges the significant results achieved so far, expresses its willingness to continue supporting the efforts of the authorities and other stakeholders and reiterates its firm pledge to contribute to ensuring the security and protection of human rights defenders.
Emma Achilli, Front Line Defenders Head of EU Office, said in Brussels:
"We welcome this strong statement by the European Union, which clearly condemns the horrendous killings of HRDs in Guatemala. It's important to also highlight the threats received by other HRDs working on sensitive issues and the need for accountability for these crimes as well. We also welcome the commitment of the EU to contribute to ensuring the security and protection of human rights defenders. International support for HRDs is essential, particularly in countries where the government has taken so little action to protect them. This should always primarily be the responsibility of the state concerned."
International support for HRDs is essential, particularly in countries where the government has taken so little action to protect them. - Emma Achilli, Head of EU Office, Front Line Defenders
For more information or to speak with Ms. Achilli, please contact:
+353 1 212 3750