Cooperativa Centro Campesino Yaxchilán

Guatemala: Killing of environmental rights defenders in Peténposted on: 2013/05/01

On 22 April 2013 three human rights defenders, as well as a temporary labourer and a family member, were violently assassinated in the recently created municipality of Las Cruces in El Petén, northern Guatemala. The human rights defenders were all affiliated with Cooperativa Centro Campesino Yaxchilán (Central Campesino Co-operative, Yaxchilán) which works on developing organic farming practices in Las Cruces, whilst simultaneously preserving the surrounding jungle by not felling trees or hunting wild animals. It has previously denounced the activities of illegal loggers and mining groups that are operating in the area. Mr Mateo García Pérez was the acting secretary of the organisation when he was killed; Mr Eliseo Ramos Martínez was a former board member; Mr Don Medelso Martínez Interiano was a former member of the Supervisory Committee; Mr Jesús Aldana Choc was a temporary worker and Mr Eduber García was the son of Mateo García Pérez.