Manuel Pérez Hernández

Source La Prensa Latina

Guatemala, Nov. 7 (EFE) .- The Peasant Development Committee (Codeca) condemned this Thursday (November 07) the killing of one of its leaders, the fourteenth leader killed since the first attacks were registered in mid-2018.

The group explained that the victim was Manuel Pérez Hernández, who was also a member of the board of directors of the Agua Mecate village, San Pedro Pinula municipality, eastern department of Jalapa.

It was half past six in the afternoon and Manuel was resting in a hammock with his baby. His wife was in the kitchen. Two men entered the house and shot him dead.

“This murder adds to the policy of repression by the conservative sectors of economic and political power, in complicity with the government,” Codeca said in a press release.

These actions are directed against Codeca and “other organizations that defend land and life,” the Committee added.

The organization, whose membership provided the basis for the new political party, the Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples (MLP) that came fourth in the presidential election of June 2019, demanded that the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Prosecutor) carry out an “immediate and exhaustive” investigation in order to bring those responsible to justice.

Codeca is an organization with more than 90,000 members that advocates for the democratization of land and the nationalization of electricity and against the increase in electricity charges

During the election campaign, the MLP also reported the murder of several of its members, such as Leonel Nájera, who was not listed as a candidate but was part of the team.

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Date of Killing:06/11/2019

Previous Threats:No information

Type of Work:Community leader


Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:Abuse of power/corruption, Extractive industries/Mega projects, Indigenous Peoples' Rights, Land Rights

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).