Democracy Now! interviews Maya Mam human rights defender Thelma Cabrera barred from running in June 25th presidential election in Guatemala

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Video: Democracy Now! interview with Thelma Cabrera and Jordán Rodas.

On March 3, Democracy Now! reported:

“The Guatemalan Constitutional Court on Thursday [March 2] upheld a decision by the country’s electoral tribunal to bar Indigenous human rights defender Thelma Cabrera from running [in the June 25th election]. Cabrera and her running mate, former human rights ombudsman Jordán Rodas, are members of the leftist political party the Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples.”

It also highlights: “Guatemala’s presidential election this year is taking place against a backdrop of worsening repression against journalists, human rights activists and Indigenous environmental defenders.”

El Pais also provides this background:

Cabrera and Rodas announced on December 28 their decision to compete in the presidential elections. And at the end of January they went to the Electoral Tribunal to register their candidacies, registration that was denied because, according to the officials in charge of the process, Rodas has an ongoing investigation for alleged irregularities during his tenure at the head of the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office.

The magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal, after a confinement of hours, ruled on Thursday [February 2] against an appeal filed by the Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP), a leftist organization that was denied the registration of its candidates, the Mayan leader Thelma Cabrera and the former human rights ombudsman Jordán Rodas .

A daughter of Rios Montt [the former president of Guatemala who came to power in a coup in 1982 and who was convicted in 2013 of committing genocide], Zury Rios, is running for president and received her candidate credential Saturday [February 4]. In Guatemala it is said that Ríos is precisely the candidate of the oligarchy, the businessmen and the military.

To read the full transcript of the Democracy Now! interview, click here.

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