PBI-Guatemala accompanies Indigenous Poqomchi’ and Q’eqchi’ defenders in Cobán prison
On April 12, PBI-Guatemala posted: “PBI accompanies David Alejandro Maxena, member of UVOC, Jorge Coc Coc and Marcelino Xol Cucul, members of the CCDA Verapaz The three defenders find themselves criminalized at Cobán prison.”
David Alejandro Maxena
Earlier this month, UVOC posted: “Almost 2 months in prison without committing any crime. Since last February 14 this year, the Mayan Poqomchi’ community leader David Alejandro Maxena Caal, defender of human rights and mother land, was detained.”
UVOC adds: “The Santa Teresa Hydroelectric and the Shintun Agriculture S.A. municipality of San Miguel Tucuru, are the main plaintiffs against the communities that were stripped of their land that was an ancestral belonging to them.”
Jorge Coc Coc and Marcelino Xol Cucul
In their December 2021 monthly update, PBI-Guatemala explained: “Jorge Coc Coc and Marcelino Xol Cucul [are] human rights defenders and community leaders from Choctún Basilá, who have been criminalized and imprisoned since 2018.”
Both are Maya Q’eqchi defenders with the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) in the Verapaz region that fights for access to land and against continued evictions and dispossession from ancestral lands.
In January 2022, the German newspaper Junge Welt also reported: “Jorge Coc Coc and Marcelino Xol Cucul, local indigenous authorities from the Choctun Basilá community in Cobán County and members of the CCDA, were sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2019 on fabricated charges of murder and attempted murder.”
PBI-Guatemala has accompanied the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) Verapaz since 2018 and Union of Verapaz Campesino Organizations (UVOC) since 2005.