Guatemalan Indigenous leaders Isidro Perez and Melecio Ramirez, members of the Committee of Campesino Development (CODECA), were killed on Friday by armed men in the village of Nuevo Eden in the eastern municipality of Livingston.
Colombia: Revered Social Leader and Activist Killed in Colombia
“These killings are added to the repression maintained against our organization by sectors of economic power and organized crime, supported by repressive forces of the State, in an attempt to stop the permanent fight for the defense of rights' advances,” read a communiqué released by CODECA, strongly condemning the assassinations.
The organization reported the crimes occurred during a peaceful action in defense of the Right of the Land, demanding that those responsible "be captured and receive an exemplary sentence” for the killings, teleSUR's correspondent reported.
Armed men killed two defenders of the land and members of the Committee of Campesino Development during a peaceful activity, in the village of Nuevo Eden, municipality of Livingston, Izabal. The victims are Isidro Perez Pérez (photo) and Melecio Ramírez.
Last year, six members of Codeca were murdered for their activism, yet no one has been arrested for the crimes. The organization has denounced continuous harassment and systematic hate speech on part of the government and economic elites against them and other human rights and environmental activists in Guatemala.
"Despite the repression and criminalization, our struggle will continue and strengthen,” added the committee in its statement, “there is an urgent need to build a Plurinational State that will respond to the needs of all peoples. The right to land is a fundamental right."
Human rights prosecutor, Jodran Rodas, requested the authorities to find those responsible for the murders. “There is widespread violence against defenders of the environment, the land, and the territory," he concluded.