On 11 August, 2020, thirty-eight-year-old Misael López Catalán was working on the coffee plantation El Catetalito when he was shot dead by unknown gunmen.
López Catalán was a member of the Comité de Desarrollo Campesino, (Committee for Rural Development) CODECA, and was the eighteenth member of that organisation killed in the previous two years.
As president of the local branch of CODECA, he had campaigned for the protection of land and territorial rights though the processes of the Asamblea Constituyente Popular y Plurinacional, (Popular Constituent Assembly of the Peoples).
The Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala, Jordán Rodas, called on the government to “respect, promote and favour the work of human rights defenders throughout the country,” and in particular: “to ensure that murders and attacks against human rights defenders do not go unpunished.”
CODECA has more than 90,000 members and advocates for the democratisation of the land, the nationalisation of electricity and fights against the escalation in the cost of electricity.