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.

Emergency support for Monte Olivo

carlos guitz

On November 8, 2013, Carlos Guitz was shot in the back and paralyzed.  GSP donors have supported therapy, but we need more contributions to his recovery.  Unlike several months ago, Guitz now has sensation in most of his body.  He also recently has been able to move his toes for the first time.  We condemn continued attacks against Guitz's home community of Monte Olivo, as well as other neighboring q'eqchi' communities.  We call for the government to immediately arrest the intellectual authors of this violence, which has included the murder of 13 year-old Ageo Isaac Maas Guitz and 11-year-old David Estuardo Pacay Mass.  We believe that those responsible include the company Hidro Santa Rita SA and the wealthy land owner David Leonel Ponce Ramirez.  We condemn the government of Guatemala for building a military base in the community of Monte Olivo in order to facilitate the theft of their lands.

Crisanto Cuc Xol is free!

July 27 2014: Thanks in part to the GSP and our supporters, Q'eqchi' community leader/political prisoner Crisanto Xol was released from prison last week. Xol also no longer has a home to go to.His home was burned down after he was illegally detained on November 30, 2013. Xol and the GSP are requesting continued solidarity with Saquimo Setana and other indigenous and peasant communities in Guatemala which are organizing for justice