CCDA Public Statement: Murder of indigenous community leader in Guatemala
We are sad to share that Daniel Choc, a community leader that worked with IDEX* partner, Comité Campesino del Altiplano (The Peasant Committee of the Highlands, or CCDA), was assassinated on June 8th. He was from San Juan Los Tres Ríos, Guatemala.
CCDA held a press conference to denounce this assassination and to call out the state for their lack of interest and inefficiency of resolving land conflicts in Q’eqchi’ Mayan communities of the Verapazes states. Below is the translated statement they gave. CCDA demands that the perpetrators be punished, and that the government prioritize resolving land conflicts.
¡Daniel Choc presente!
Coban, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
June 8, 2016
Today Daniel Choc, community leader in San Juan Los Tres Ríos, was assassinated due to his tireless struggle for the vindication of the rights of [indigenous] communities to live a life with dignity.
The Peasant Farmer Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) has convicted and condemned strongly this heinous act, and blames state institutions for its lack of effectiveness in resolving agrarian land conflicts afflicting communities in the states of Alto and Baja Verapaz, as well as omitting their commitments made in April 2015, after the indigenous Q’eqchi community set up a protest camp next to the presidential palace.
Also, CCDA publicly denounces the inefficiency and lack of interest by state institutions, who are responsible for solving these situations, thereby causing all kinds of violent situations to which communities are subjected daily.
Among the demands delivered at this press conference, CCDA requests the conviction and punishment of the perpetrators of this inhuman act, and the resolution of agrarian land conflicts in the community San Juan Los Tres Ríos, to be committed by the Secretariat of Agrarian Affairs, the National Land Fund, and the state itself, therefore, these actions will meet the demands and commitments with communities. CCDA also requests the intervention of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and the Public Ministry (MP) to investigate why after all this time has no solution been given to these cases.
Long live Daniel Choc!
San Lucas Toliman, Solola
Email: [email protected]
~ Berta Cáceres
“You have the bullet… I have the word. The bullet dies when it’s shot, the word lives when it’s replicated!”
~ Berta Cáceres