Annual Report: Guatemala 2011

Report
May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Guatemala 2011

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  • The case against former President General Ríos Montt and other military and police leaders of the early 1980s for grave human rights violations remained stalled because the Ministry of Defence failed to hand over documents, despite being ordered to do so by a Guatemalan court.
  • In May, Gilberto Jordán, a former Guatemalan special forces soldier, was arrested in the USA. According to the US Department of Justice, he confessed to taking part in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre in which 250 Indigenous men, women and children were killed, and stated that the first person he killed was a baby, whom he murdered by throwing into the village well. In September he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for concealing his participation in the massacre in his citizenship application.
  • In October, Héctor Roderico Ramírez Ríos and Abraham Lancerio Gómez, two former police officers, were each sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment for the 1984 enforced disappearance of trade unionist Fernando García.

Human rights defenders

During the year, human rights organizations documented 305 incidents of intimidation, threats and attacks against human rights defenders, including eight killings. The authorities failed to hold anybody to account for the vast majority of these and previous crimes.

  • Members of staff at UDEFEGUA, a human rights NGO based in Guatemala City, were subjected to a series of attacks, intimidation and threats. In February, a car of a staff member was tampered with, resulting in temporary loss of control of her car.