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24 Nov 2021

Quinte News

Guatemala: Organizations pressure authorities to release indigenous defender arbitrarily detained since 2018 for standing against the construction of hydroelectric project

"Amnesty Quinte is joining Amnesty International in the bid to free an Indigenous man in Guatemala", 24 November 2021

...When Bernardo Caal Xol, an Indigenous man from the Maya Q’eqchi’ nation in Guatemala stood up to protect the flow and water quality of a river sacred to his people by taking the authorities to court, he was himself sentenced to more than seven years in jail. On December 10, a group of people from the Quinte area will do their best to set him free.

The tools they will use are pen and paper, and online petitions and letters.

Amnesty Quinte spokesperson Jan Sosiak comments on the work.

“We can give some support and hopefully more than support, some change for people who are either imprisoned or have had their land or their rights, you know, they’ve been taken away.”

Joining with people around the world, the plan is to flood the Guatemalan authorities’ desks with hundreds of thousands of messages, so they know the world is watching this miscarriage of justice.
Each December 10, International Human Rights Day, millions of people take part in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights, the world’s largest human rights event with 4.5 million people participating last year in the midst of the pandemic...

Amnesty Quinte suggests three options to help Bernardo Caal Xol and nine other chosen cases: attend an in-person event at the Belleville Public Library, bubble up with your family and friends (take-out writing kits can be picked up at the Belleville library from December 10 to January 10, or online (at writeathon.ca)...

More information about Bernardo Caal Xol's imprisonment here