PBI-Guatemala accompanies Nuevo Dia and two Maya Ch’orti’ defenders after their release from nine years in prison

Published by Brent Patterson on

On April 22, PBI-Guatemala posted: “PBI accompanies the indigenous authorities Timoteo Suchite de Rosa and Agustín Díaz Ramirez in their return to their community and reunion with the colleagues of Nuevo Dia.”

PBI-Guatemala has previously explained:

Agustín Díaz Ramírez and Timoteo Suchite de Rosa are two indigenous authorities from the community of Las Flores, municipality of Jocotán, department of Chiquimula.

They are also members of the New Day Chorti Campesino Central Coordinator (CCCND). They played an important role in the leadership and resistance against the Tres Niñas S.A. hydroelectric project located on the Jupilingo River, when the municipal authorities of Jocotán granted a 50-year license to the JONBO Company (later known as TRES NIÑAS S.A.) in 2007.

Through this license, more than 200 hectares of community land were given to the hydroelectric company. According to Guatemalan law and international standards, the company should have obtained the consent of the indigenous community before beginning work. The lack of recognition and respect for the collective rights of the Maya Ch’orti people over their lands and the lack of consultation are at the root of the conflict.

On April 20, this communique from Nuevo Dia added:

The Indigenous Authority Timoteo Súchite de Rosa and Agustín Díaz Ramírez, were unjustly arrested and imprisoned accused of a death they did not commit.

Today we can say that Timoteo and Agustín were not deprived of their liberty for being aggressors, but for defending their people and their territory from the invasion of the Las Tres Niñas Company, a company that corrupted the municipal government at the time and appropriated part of the Ch’orti’ Territory of Jocotán and Camotán.

 Our brothers, Timoteo and Agustín, during these 9 years in prison, were constantly visited by workers or messengers from said company, to tell them that they could go free if they supported the company and sold their land.

They always responded that, if defending their community meant being deprived of their liberty, they were willing to pay that price and asked us never to stop defending our territory, to never lose heart, to stand firm.

And earlier today, Nuevo Dia posted: “Visit to Flores Jocotan with the Udefegua organization, Ancestral indigenous authorities of New Day and the Peace Brigade in continuity of the indigenous authorities Agustín and Timoteo.”

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied Nuevo Dia (‘New Day’ Ch’orti’ Campesino Central Coordinator/CCCND) since 2009.

 


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