Delfino Agustín Vidal

Source El Confidencial

Guatemala, Jan 22 (EFE) .- The head of the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala, Jordán Rodas, condemned on Tuesday the murder of the indigenous leader and activist Delfino Agustín Vidal and ordered the opening of an investigation.

The Ombudsman, who sent his condolences to Delfino’s family and friends, also called on  the National Civil Police to provide security measures for the family of this member of the Peasant Development Committee, whose death brings to 9 the number of violent deaths against the members of this organisation in just eight months.

The murder of Vidal happened on Monday around 15.00 local time (21.00 GMT) in the village Limarcito Plan de la Cruz, San Pedro Pinula municipality, in the eastern department of Jalapa, and according to the peasant group Delfino was driving his minibus “when a group of “heavily armed criminals” blocked his way and shot him and then “burnt the vehicle with him inside”.

Given these facts, in which according to the Attorney General’s office four other unidentified persons were injured, Rodas instructed its staff to open “a file” and verify the actions taken by the competent institutions.

He also asked the Government of Guatemala to implement “urgently” the public policy of protection of human rights defenders, one of the most vulnerable groups in the country.

According to Codeca, “the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Ministerio Público) and the Police know who is responsible for the planning and the carrying out of the attacks, and pointed out to the Government of Guatemala that it has given “backing” to organized crime in the region.

Delfino Agustín Vidal was president of the board of directors of the human rights defenders of the village El Ingenio and, as emphasized by the Peasant Committee, “was pursuing a case in the courts for the political persecution of the company Energuate and the State of Guatemala.”

CODECA is a peasant organisation that advocates for the nationalization of electric power, and fights against the rise in the price of electricity and has been accused of numerous thefts of electricity in the communities where it operates.

The organization, which has more than 90,000 members, last November completed the process to establish a new political party Movement for the Liberation of Peoples (MLP) with the aim of participating in the upcoming elections on June 16, although it has not yet published its candidates for the positions of president, vice president, mayors and deputies. EFE


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Region:Americas

Country:Guatemala

Department/Province/State:Jalapa

Sex1:Male

Date of Killing:21/01/2019

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:CODECA

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights, ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Indigenous People’s Rights, Land Rights, Peasant communities

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).