On the 1st of November 2016, Benjamin Roderico Ic Coc, a leader of the q´eqchi´ indigenous community was shot dead by unknown assailants.
The killers took advantage of the absence of the workers on the farm for the holidays to assassinate 43 year old Benjamín Roderico Ic Coc. According to his wife, Telma Lorena, Choc, who was a spiritual leader in this indigenous community, had received many death threats from unknown persons.
He had left his house in Santa Rita and travelled by motor bike to the farm at Reinita where he was supposed to deal with issues relating to the sale of some land. When he arrived at the farm he rang his wife to let her know that he would call her to let her know when he was on his way back. The call never came.
The indigenous leader’s body was found the following day in a palm oil plantation and the killing was reported to local authorities. Benjamin had been killed with a single shot to the head.
Roderico Ic Coc was a devoted leader in the Maya community in Sayaxche area and was a member of the “Consejomaya”. Benjamin was an unsuccessful candidate in the local community elections the year before.