PBI-Guatemala accompanies Maya Kaqchikel journalist Norma Sancir in court on May 12

Published by Brent Patterson on

On May 11, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted: “PBI accompanies the Norma Sancir hearing tomorrow.”

Frontline Defenders has explained: “Norma Sancir is a journalist, social communicator and human rights defender of the Ch’orti ’people in Chiquimula, Guatemala.”

“She works as a communicator in the Central Campesina Chortí Nuevo Día (Nuevo Día Ch’orti’ Indigenous Association, CCCND), and is also a correspondent of Prensa Comunitaria. The Central Campesina Chortí Nuevo Día works alongside indigenous Ch’orti’ communities in the region of Chiquimula, Guatemala.”

“They provide legal support and visibility to the communities of Jocotán, Olopa and Camotán, who face threats and violations to land, environmental, and cultural rights, following to the implementation of hydroelectric and mining projects in their territories.”

Hearing today

El Periodico reports: “The hearing is scheduled for May 12, when that judiciary will begin the mid-term criminal proceedings against three police officers and a commissioner. The court must decide whether they should face trial.”

That article further notes: “The facts of those who are syndicated occurred in September 2014. On that occasion, Sancir was arrested by the National Civil Police (PNC) when she covered a demonstration in Camotán, Chiquimula.”

Her arrest in 2014

PBI-Guatemala has also previously explained: “During 2014, members of CCCND experienced an alarming escalation of threats and attacks against them, reporting 81 security incidents to PBI in just six months.”

“In September 2014, various protesters were injured and two members of CCCND were arrested during a peaceful protest, which was broken up by police using firearms, teargas, sticks and stones. Front Line Defenders stated that ‘the arrest and detention of Norma Lila Sut Sancir and Carlos Alfredo Juárez Díaz forms part of an attempt by the authorities to criminalize human rights defenders’.”

Press freedom

When Sancir visited Quebec in May 2018, she told Radio Canada Internacional: “Freedom of information will exist when they let us tell the truth. We believe that freedom of expression should not be exclusive for the benefit of journalists working in the major media or for an editorial line.”

Watch the hearing

The hearing starts at 10 am in Guatemala (12 pm EDT).

You can follow live on GNM Radio at this website.

The Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project has accompanied the Nuevo Día Ch’orti’ Indigenous Association (CCCND) since 2009.

#JusticiaParaNormaSancir – Justice for Norma Sancir

#SomosNormaSancir – We are Norma Sancir

#SoyPeriodista – I am a journalist

Categories: News Updates


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