MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Guatemala: Request for Urgent Action on threat to NGO coordinator

Published by MAC on 2005-07-08

Request for Urgent Action - WRN 15/05

FROM: Central America team (Sebastian Elgueta, Dolors Vila)
Fax: (010 44) 71 956 1157
Tel: (010 44) 71 413 5500

DATE: 8 July 2005

COUNTRY: Guatemala

NAME(S): Mario Antonio Godínez López


Mario Antonio Godínez López received a written threat at his place of work on 7 July 2005. Amnesty International fears for his safety.

On Thursday 7 July 2005, at 740 am a fax was received at the office of Asociación para la Promoción y el Desarrollo de la Comunidad (CEIBA), Association for the Promotion and Development of the Community, in the department of Chimaltenango, to the East of Guatemala City. The fax warned Mario Godinez that ''the latest destabilising actions carried out by your organisation have caused dissatisfaction and indignation amongst those organisations that work for peace in the department'' (las ultimas acciones desestabilizadoras hechas por su organización, han provocado, descontento e indignación en las organizaciones que trabajamos por la paz del departamento). The fax warned CEIBA not to carry out meetings of more than 20 or else ''we will consider it an act of provocation and act accordingly'' (ya que entenderemos como un acto de nueva provocación y reaccionaremos en respuesta). The fax ended recommending ''much prudence in what you plan to do in the communities and in the department in the future'' (Le recomendamos mucha prudencia en lo que de aquí en adelante planeen en las comunidades y en el departamento)

CEIBA and Mario Antonio Godínez López, as its coordinator, have given support to rural communities involved in land disputes and coordinated opposition to open pit mining projects and to the recently signed and ratified (by Guatemala) Central America Free Trade Agreement. In March 2005 after demonstrations against CAFTA, in which one person dies and others were injured (see AI Index: AMR 34/012/2005 News Service No: 063, 16 March 2005) armed men called at the office of CEIBA in Huehuetenango looking for Mario Antonio Godinez Lopes (he was abroad at the time)

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Spanish or your own language: - expressing grave concern at the threats against Mario Godinez and for his safety; - calling for an immediate and thorough investigation, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice; - urging the authorities to take immediate measures to ensure the security of Mario Godinez, his family and others working in CEIBA in accordance with their own wishes;


Attorney General
Fiscal General de la República y jefe del Ministerio Público,
Juan Luis Florido,
8a. Avenida 10-67,
Zona 1, Antiguo Edificio del Banco de los Trabajadores,
Ciudad de Guatemala, GUATEMALA

Fax: + 502 2251 2218

Salutation: Estimado Fiscal General/Dear Sir

President of the Republic of Guatemala
Presidente de la República de Guatemala
Licenciado Oscar Berger Perdomo
Casa Presidencial, 6 a. Avenida, 4-18 zona 1.
Ciudad de Guatemala, GUATEMALA

Fax: +502 2221 4423
+502 2239 0090

Salutation: Excelentísimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President


Asociación para la Promoción y el Desarrollo de la Comunidad
Oficinas Centrales, Km. 56. 5 carretera Interamericana, Aldea Buena Vista,
Chimaltenango, GUATEMALA

Fax: +502 78396033

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