Killing of Guatemalan human rights defender

Who we wrote to

The president of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales.

What’s the issue

Jeremy Abraham Barrios Lima, a Guatemalan human rights defender, was shot and killed by unknown assailants in Guatemala City on 12 November 2016.

We understand that Mr Barrios was found with two bullets in his head and his personal belongings left intact.

Mr Barrios was a 22-year-old human rights defender who worked as an assistant to the director of the Centre for Legal, Environmental and Social Action (CALAS) since 2014.

We’ve expressed our concerns and highlighted the situation of lawyers and human rights defenders in Guatemala.

The killing of Mr Barrios seems to be part of a consistent pattern of intimidation and harassment committed against lawyers and human rights defenders in Guatemala.

We’re seriously worried about the evident climate of hostility against Guatemalan lawyers and human rights defenders, especially those defending environmental rights and the rights of indigenous and rural communities.

What we asked for

We urged the Guatemalan authorities to make sure that:

  • the relevant authorities carry out a full and comprehensive investigation into Mr Barrios’ killing in a prompt, effective and independent manner
  • lawyers and human rights defenders can carry out their work without any hindrance and/or fear of intimidation

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