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16 Jan 2018

Amnesty International

Guatemala: The killing of another community leader underscores the urgent need for a policy for the protection of human rights defenders

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Ronal David Barillas Díaz, a community leader and human rights defender was killed on the morning of 9 January in Taxisco, Santa Rosa, Guatemala…Ronal David Barillas Díaz, was an Indigenous Xinka leader, a member of the Xinka parliament and a member of the Committee of Communities Affected by the Sugar Industry… an association that brings together more than 70 communities in the departments of Escuintla, Santa Rosa and Jutiapa. He had highlighted the environmental impact of the activities of the sugar agroindustry in his region and had on occasion worked with the Committee for the Defence of Nature (CODIDENA), which opposes the El Escobal mining project (San Rafael Mine), and had denounced the lack of free, prior and informed consultation with communities living near the mine…The investigation must establish whether he was killed as a reprisal for his work defending human rights. If it should fail to do so, the authorities would be sending a message that attacks against human rights defenders are tolerated and those responsible will not face any consequences…