PBI-Guatemala visits criminalized Poqomchi’ and Q’eqchi’ defenders in Cobán prison

Published by Brent Patterson on

On June 8, PBI-Guatemala posted:

“PBI accompanies Jorge Coc, Marcelino Xol and David Maxena criminalized land defenders. We visited the three at the Cobán Preventive Detention Center.”

David Alejandro Maxena

UVOC has posted: “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

PBI-Guatemala has 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.

The German newspaper Junge Welt has 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.


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