On 6 May, two members of CODECA (Comité de Desarrollo Campesino) in Guatemala, Nicolasa López and Victoria Méndez, were murdered. These deaths add to the 27 CODECA activists already killed since 2018. CODECA is a human rights organisation based in Mazatenango, Suchitepéquez, which has been working to improve the situation of Guatemala’s rural poor since 1992. Its fight is aimed at improving the wage conditions of farmers, agrarian reform, but above all, in recent years, it has focused on the nationalisation of electricity in the country. Many poor families are excluded from this service. In this region, ENERGUATE has left all communities without electricity for more than two years. Previously, Iberdrola operated there and was also accused of not supplying electricity to the disadvantaged populations.
From Euskal Herria (Basque Country) we send our condolences for the tragic loss of the comrades and solidarity for the struggle that CODECA is promoting.
(REPORT on Democratic Energy Transition in Guatemala HERE)
WE DENOUNCE THE MURDERS OF NICOLASA LOPEZ AND VICTORIA MENDEZ
Nicolasa López Méndez, 27 years old, left two orphaned girls and Victoria Méndez Agustín, 18 years old, both from the village of El Camarón, San Luis Jilotepeque Jalapa. Both were shot to death as they were travelling from the town centre to their community.
Yesterday at approximately 11am, the two comrades were on their way back to their homes in the community of El Camarón after going to the market to do their shopping. The attack took place on the Camaron River, when men in another vehicle shot at the two comrades. Leonardo Morales, who was the driver of the vehicle, was also killed in the attack, and another person named Rufino Miguel, who was also a passenger, was wounded.
Nicolasa López and Victoria Méndez had been members of the CODECA movement for more than 7 years. Nicolasa was part of the resistance in her community demanding the nationalisation of electricity and as a measure of repression ENERGUATE has left all the communities in the region without electricity for more than two years. Victoria Méndez was a member of the CODECA youth, her father is one of the local leaders and has been a key witness in the case of the murdered Luis Marroquín who was part of the national coordination of CODECA and was assassinated by the mayor of the municipality in 2018. Both murdered comrades were also part of the team of our political instrument the MLP.
Since 2018 to date, 27 defenders have been murdered in leadership roles in different structures of the CODECA movement. State institutions in Guatemala have not done justice for the murders of these defenders.
In recent years the persecution, criminalisation and repression by the state against communities in resistance has intensified. This year, the deputies who are part of the corrupt pact approved a modification to the penal code by means of Decree 08-2023, which becomes a law against the communities in resistance that demand the nationalisation of electricity in Guatemala.
This year, which is an electoral period, once again the mafias and organised crime that have co-opted state institutions have for months been creating Electoral Fraud, with the aim of perpetuating themselves in power. They have removed the presidential candidate of the Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples MLP from the electoral process, because this movement has the popular support to win the elections and this represents a threat to the power groups in this country.
ALTHOUGH WE NO LONGER TRUST, BUT WE DEMAND INVESTIGATION AND PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS REPRESSION.
GUATEMALA MUST BE LIBERATED FROM THIS REPRESSIVE MAFIA ACTING AGAINST THE PEOPLE!
WE MUST BUILD A PLURINATIONAL STATE!
Guatemala 07 May 2023
The darkest moment of the night is the one before the dawn!