Guatemala's Committee of Peasant Development, or Codeca, denounced the murder of Alejandro Hernandez and Florencio Perez, two members of its organization in the eastern department of Jutiapa. The organization warned that while the eruption of the El Fuego Volcano “caused pain,” due to the death of at least 69 people per last count, the “criminalization against us causes pain” as well.
Hernandez and Perez were part of the organization in the eastern part of the country.
Codeca, a peasant organization that fights against the rise of the price of electricity, reiterated its demand for the cessation of attacks on its members and other social leaders, as well as pressuring authorities to carry out a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators in to justice.
The group has also helped to create a new political organization called the Movement for the Liberation of Peoples, which intends to participate in the next general elections, which are scheduled to take place next year.
Other groups have also condemned attacks against their members. On June 1, the Campesino Committee of the Altiplano lamented the murder of three of its leaders, Mateo Chaman Paau, Jose Can Xol, and Ramon Choc.
Late last month, the Executive Director of U.N. Environment, Erik Solheim, said the escalation of violence against Indigenous leaders in Guatemala is "unacceptable.” He went on to say that it is "imperative" to investigate and determine those who were responsible for the latest crimes in the Central American country.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights aslo warned last month of the increasingly dangerous socio-political climate faced by activists working to defend human rights in Guatemala. Speaking on behalf of the OHCHR, Ravina Shamdasani, called on the country's government to urgently investigate the attacks of violence and work towards an environment free from threats and attacks.