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Abelino Chub Caal

HRD

Carta de Abelino, 18 de junio de 2017

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Abelino Chub Caal es un líder indígena q'eqchi' e integrante de la Fundación Guillermo Toriello, que promueve el desarrollo local en el marco de los acuerdos de paz. La Fundación también promueve incidencia por los derechos a la vivienda digna, la agricultura ambientalmente sostenible y la preservación de la memoria de las víctimas del conflicto armado en Guatemala. Como parte de su trabajo de derechos humanos, Abelino Chub Caal acompaña a 29 comunidades en Sierra Santa Cruz, Izabal, cuyos derechos territoriales, ambientales y culturales están amenazados por intereses mineros, en particular las operaciones de la Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN) y rancheros, a pesar de la existencia de una decisión judicial a favor de los derechos territoriales de las comunidades por parte del Tribunal Constitucional.

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.

A serious issue is the unfair use of criminal proceedings in order to prevent HRDs from carrying out their legitimate human rights activities. Many criminal proceedings are launched by private companies (often backed by European and North American governments) related to the mining sector and the construction of dams, spuriously accusing HRDs of crimes such as acts of terrorism, usurpation of land, kidnappings and others. As part of the criminalisation process, campaigns of defamation and stigmatisation have been carried out by both state and non-state actors, particularly transnational companies and right-wing media publications. State authorities continue to publish statements and press releases in which they publicly incriminate HRDs on unverified charges.