Mariano Caal is Free!

On March 27, 2015, Mariano Caal Coc was arrested despite committing no crime. The 22 year old’s only “crime” was being an indigenous peasant. Caal is from the community Nimla Sa’chal near Coban, Alta Verapaz. Wealthy “land owner” Saul Girón Zúñiga has been trying to consolidate his wealth by stealing land from the community, and he has the support of the corrupt public attorney’s office. Just like many of our partner communities, community members of Nimla Sa’chal live with the permanent terror of being arrested at any moment – while going to sell or buy food at the market, going to visit family, or like Mariano, going to work.   Fortunately our allies were able to immediately mobilize legal action in order to push for Mariano’s release. This would not have happened without the support of approximately $250 from the GSP. Mariano was released March 31.   We thank our donors for making this possible. We are in desperate need for donations to support an emergency fund for cases like this. We have seen that immediate legal action can be effective in winning quick release for political prisoners. When this doesn’t happen, innocent community leaders can pass years in prison while the government adds additional fraudulent charges.

GSP Solidarity Delegation Report Back

From May 25 to June 4, a group of human rights activists from the United States, England and Colombia participated in a solidarity delegation organized by the Guatemala Solidarity Project. We were horrified to see that the government and capital interests are systematically using violence and judicial persecution to steal land from indigenous communities. Their goal is to exploit the natural resources and cheap labor of Guatemala, destroying rivers and local ecosystems in the process and leaving indigenous peasants with hunger and poverty. Read complete report

Timoteo Chen is Free!

Timoteo Chen Tun

September 2, 2015: Thanks in part to supporters of the Guatemala Solidarity Project, former political prisoner Timoteo Chen Tun has been released after spending over a year in jail on false charges! Shortly after being released, an arrest warrant was ordered against Chen on a new set of false charges. Chen is a community leader and health worker who should be honored for his longstanding commitment to others. Instead he is targeted for organizing nonviolent action against the theft of indigenous lands by the company Hidro Santa Rita.