PBI-Guatemala accompanies four criminalized water defenders on the South Coast

Published by Brent Patterson on

On October 22, PBI-Guatemala posted: “PBI accompanied the 4 criminalized defending people on the South Coast for defending water.”

“After 6 suspensions since 2019, today is the hearing in which Anabella Spain, Abelino Mejía, Flavio Vicente and Virgilio Garcia is feared to be brought to trial for the crimes of coercion, threats and illegal arrests such as sends the ruling of an appeals court.”

“Judge will decide on coercion measures.”

REDSAG then tweeted: “We made known the substitute measures under which the comrades were subjected after being tied up in the process. Criminalization is a strategy to wear down the defense of the water and the territory that the companions carry on the South Coast.”

PBI-Guatemala further explains: “The 4 defendants are tied to the process with substituting measures for house arrest.”

Later in the day, REDSAG tweeted a communique and noted “The undersigned Council of REDSUR Communities, Peoples and Organizations denounce the criminalization and prosecution of defenders Anabella España, and defenders Virgilio García, Flavio Vicente and Abelino Mejía, from different communities on the South Coast.”

PBI-Guatemala also noted: “Observers and companions were not allowed in.”

And, as seen in the image below, REDSAG tweeted: “In the Retalhuleu Court, where the hearing of the first statement of the human rights defenders of the South Coast is held, they do not allow the entry of Peace Brigades International, who accompany the defenders observing the fulfillment of their rights.”


Earlier this month, La Prensa reported: “On November 24, 2017, residents of the Nueva Candelaria community held a protest because sugar mills such as Tululá, Magdalena and El Pilar had made them offers for projects that they did not fulfill.”

“In addition, one of the rivers where the ladies washed their clothes and extracted water, Canillas, dried up, for this fact a complaint was filed with the Public Ministry.”

“That situation angered the people, who proceeded to stop several cars of workers from these companies that passed through the community.”

“Karina Alejandra Imeri, who identified herself as a community manager of the El Pilar sugar mill, located in San Andrés, Retalhuleu, denounced in 2017 four members of the Board of Directors of the Council of Organized Communities of Retalhuleu and Champerico.”

“Although a judge ruled lack of merit in favor of the community in 2019, the complainant appealed in a Chamber in Retalhuleu that ordered the Court to repeat the process, a hearing that will be held on October 22.”

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied the four defenders since April 2020.

Categories: News Updates


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