Posts Tagged ‘Chiquimula’

Human Rights Defender Carlos Hernández Mendoza killed in Guatemala

March 14, 2013

Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped reports that on 8 March 2013, human rights defender and trade union leader Carlos Antonio Hernández Mendoza was shot dead as he travelled back from Honduras. Carlos Hernández Mendoza was a leader in the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Salud de Guatemala – SNTSG (National Health Workers Union of Guatemala), as well as a member of several other social movements.  A prominent defender of labour and land rights, Carlos Hernández Mendoza was also actively engaged in struggling for prior consultation rights for indigenous communities whose lives and livelihoods are affected by large-scale dam construction and mega projects in the region. On 8 March 2013, at approximately 8.30am, Carlos Hernández Mendoza was travelling in a vehicle through the municipality of Camotán, department of Chiquimula, returning from a trip to Honduras, when he was stopped by individuals asking for a lift. When the human rights defender descended from his vehicle to assist them, he was shot and killed.

Carlos Hernández Mendoza had previously reported incidents of alleged surveillance when cars with darkly tinted windows were noticed in the vicinity of his residence. In November 2010, he was detained in Chiquimula and accused of carrying out activities that threatened national security and of holding illegal meetings. The charges were a result of the human rights defender’s participation in mobilising community protest to defend natural resources.