PBI-Guatemala repudiates the murder of CCDA Verapaz member Regilson Choc Cac

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On July 20, PBI-Guatemala posted: “We repudiate the murder and stand in solidarity with the family of Regilson Choc Cac, member of the CCDA Verapaz.”

On July 20, Regilson Choc Cac, a 16-year-old member of the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), was murdered in the community of San Juan Los Tres Ríos, in the Canguinic region of Cobán, Alta Verapaz.

Prensa Comunitaria reports: “According to community sources, it could be paramilitaries who attacked him, since the community lives under permanent threat from a dispute over the lands they inhabit. Until recently it was a finquero [large estate].”

The CCDA says: “He is the third victim of the injustice of a killer system, which strips, criminalizes represses by defending rights, defending its territory, defending life.”

Marcelo Sabuc of the CCDA says: “The community of San Juan Los Tres Rios has filed several complaints about access to land, however, the response has been that criminal groups linked to the alleged owners have violated all their rights and have not only committed violations but also murders, persecution and prosecution of peasant leaders.”


The PBI-Guatemala report We Defend Life! The Social Struggles in Alta Verapaz provides the historical context: “The indigenous peoples and campesinos of AV have been subjected to continuous dispossession dating back to the Spanish conquest, when the looting of natural wealth in the region began through the exploitation of raw materials.”

It adds: “Faced with this history of dispossession, the indigenous and campesino population has organized multiple resistances throughout history. …The State’s response to these resistances has been characterized by repression.”

The Guardian has reported: “A peace agreement in 1996 should have led to land redistribution, but a handful of powerful families still dominates the economy, and Guatemala remains one of the world’s least equal and most violent countries, with the largest 2.5% of farms occupying more than 65% of the land.”

That article further notes that foreign-backed mining, dams and other extractive industries have meant the continued dispossession of lands from Indigenous peoples.


The CCDA accompanies 150 Maya Q’eqchi’ communities who have been repressed and stripped of their land or who are immersed in conflicts regarding land tenure. PBI-Guatemala has accompanied CCDA-Verapaz since July 2018.

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