Ronal David Barillas Díaz was a defender of the rights of the Xinka people, in particular with regards to the defense of the environment and the right to free and informed prior consultation regarding extractive projects such as the mining activities of the Canadian company Tahoe Resources Inc. / Minera San Rafael SA In addition, he was a member of the coordinating committee of the communities affected by the activity of the sugar cane agroindustry in the departments of Escuintla, Santa Rosa and Jutiapa.
On the morning of 9 January 2018, Ronal David was murdered in the urban area of Taxisco, Department of Santa Rosa, by two strangers travelling in a white car. One of the perpetrators approached him under pretence of making a purchase and fired six shots into his chest, killing him instantly. Meanwhile, the perpetrator’s accomplice waited for him behind the wheel of the car to facilitate his escape. The facts were immediately reported to the National Civil Police (PNC) and the Crimes Unit against Activists of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Human Rights Section of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Guatemala, which has already initiated a criminal investigation.