Stop the Detention and Murder of Community Leaders

Originally published on August 28, 2014, at

Target: Otto Perez Molina, President of Guatemala

Goal: End the extreme violence against environmental rights activists and their community leaders

While resisting the construction of local hydroelectric plants, two community leaders were arbitrarily arrested by the police. In retaliation, the community rose up in protest against their discriminatory detention. During the protest, three Mayan community leaders were shot and killed as police brutalized the activists. The Guatemalan government needs to investigate their deaths and punish any police officers responsible for these human rights abuses.

On August 15, law enforcement officials arrested community leaders, Rafael Chen and Carmen del Cid. Large crowds gathered in protest of their unlawful arrests. The police violently attacked the protesters and reportedly shot Sebastian Rax Caal, Luciano Can Cujub, and Oscar Chen Quej to death. At least 40 activists have been arrested with many others left injured.

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