Eight protesters from the Maya K'che' Indigenous community were killed during a protest against rising electricity costs and proposed constitutional amendments in October in the town of Totonicapán, Totonicapán Department. One army officer and eight soldiers were charged in connection with their deaths.
Human rights defenders
At least 305 attacks against human rights defenders were reported during 2012. In March, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the government to adopt and implement effective protection measures for human rights defenders.
- In June, anti-mining activist Yolanda Oquelí was seriously wounded on her way home from a protest against the presence of the El Tambor gold mine in the municipalities of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc.
- Luis Ovidio Ortíz Cajas, leader of the National Trade Union of Health Workers and a campaigner against corruption in the health service, was shot dead in March. No one had been brought to justice for the killing by the end of the year.
One prisoner remained on death row. No new death sentences were handed down during the year. There were no executions.