PBI-Guatemala accompanies Maya Q’eqchi’ defender Lesbia Artola of the CCDA-Verapaces to the Public Ministry

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

PBI-Guatemala has posted:

“On Thursday [February 15], PBI accompanied the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) of the Verapaces, to a summons issued by the MP [Public Ministry] to the Cobán District Prosecutor’s Office, in relation to a complaint against one of its members.

Concern continues over the alarming increase in criminalizations of women human rights defenders in Guatemala for their work defending the land.”

The CCDA of the Verapaces accompanies some 150 Q’eqchi communities, supporting them in the resolution of conflicts related to the possession of the land they inhabit.

The Public Ministry describes itself as an “institution with autonomous functions [that] promotes criminal prosecution, directs and investigates public action crimes, acting and ensuring compliance with the law.”

In their January 2024 Monthly Information Package, PBI-Guatemala explains: “Regarding our accompaniment of the Community Council of the Highlands (CCDA)-Las Verapaces Region, this month we maintained telephone contact and met with its coordinators Lesbia Artola and Imelda Teyul, to update us on their work, as well as to follow up on the increased threat of evictions in the region and the criminalization processes against several members of the organization. We also visited the Cobán Penitentiary Center to visit the seven CCDA members deprived of their liberty.”

Photo: Mayan Q’eqchi’ defenders Lesbia Artola and Imelda Teyul.

Two of the CCDA members in prison are Indigenous authorities Jorge Coc and Marcelino Xol Cucul who were sentenced on October 30, 2019 to 35 years in prison.

A PBI-Canada delegation visiting Guatemala met with the CCDA-The Verapaces when we were in Cobán in May 2023.

PBI-Guatemala has previously noted: “Due to a series of killings (5 in 2018), repression and criminalization against the members of the CCDA-The Verapaces, they decided to send PBI a request for accompaniment, which we analysed and accepted.”

PBI-Guatemala began accompanying CCDA-The Verapaces in July 2018.

Share This Page