Mateo Chamán Paau

On Sunday 13 May 2018, Guatemalan indigenous leader Mateo Chamán Paau was shot dead by unknown persons in the north of Guatemala.  The Campesino Committee of the Altiplano (CCDA) said in a statement that Chamán died on Sunday after being attacked in the San Juan Los Tres Ríos community in the municipality of Cobán, 95 km north of Guatemala City. According to the statement, another member of that organisation, José Can Xol, was murdered on 17 May 2018, in the Choctun Basilá community of the same municipality by “unknown persons who arrived with the intention of intimidating the families to drive  them off their land,”

In a separate statement, the Peasant Development Committee (CODECA) denounced last Wednesday the death of one of its members, human rights defender Luis Marroquín, 47, who was shot dead on Wednesday 16 May 2018,  by two hooded gunmen, in a book store in the municipality of San Luis Jilotepeque, 80 km east of the capital.

CODECA blamed the crime on President Jimmy Morales who the previous week had been strongly critical of the organisation which has called for his resignation amid allegations of corruption in the election campaign that brought him to power in 2015. Morales accused CODECA of causing the death of a child during roadblocks as part of protests against the president.


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Region:Americas

Country:Guatemala

Department/Province/State:Alta Verapaz

Sex1:Male

Date of Killing:13/05/2018

Type of Killing:Shooting

Previous Threats:Yes

Status of Investigation:Investigation – no result

Type of Work:Community leader

Organisation:Comité Campesino del Altiplano (CCDA)

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

Sector Detail:Indigenous People’s 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).