Murder of human rights defender in Guatemala

Who we wrote to

The president of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales

What’s the issue

On 18 November 2016, Evelyn Zulma Alegría Robles, a transgender leader and activist campaigning for human rights and LGBTI rights, was found dead in her home.

In February 2006, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had granted precautionary measures to Ms Alegría, which resulted from her involved in an alleged incident involving four policemen that lead to the murder of her transgender colleague Juan Pablo Méndez Cartagena, also known as Paulina.

We deeply regret the death of Ms Alegría and note with great concern the acts of extreme brutality committed against her.

We’re also very disturbed about the high level of violence and threats against lawyers and human rights defenders in Guatemala, which we’ve highlighted in our previous letters on 22 December 2016, 13 October 2016 and 5 September 2016.

What we asked for

We urged the relevant authorities to:

  • carry out an effective and impartial investigation into the murder of Ms Algería and to bring the perpetrators to justice quickly to eliminate the state of impunity under which these brutal acts are being committed
  • guarantee the right to life, physical integrity, freedom of expression and other human rights defenders and lawyers in Guatemala, including those who defend LGBTI rights

Timeline

February 2006 – the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had granted precautionary measures to Ms Alegría

September 2016 – we sent a letter to the president of Republic of Guatemala

October 2016 – we sent a letter to the president of Republic of Guatemala

November 2016 – Ms Alegría was found dead in her home

December 2016 – we sent a letter to the president of Republic of Guatemala

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