Environmental defender slain in Guatemala

Diana Isabel Hern√°ndez

Environmental activist Diana Isabel Hern√°ndez was slain Sept. 14 in an attack by armed men on a religious procession in her community of Monte Gloria, Santo Domingo municipality, in the Guatemalan department of Suchitep√©quez. Hern√°ndez was a leader of the Mujeres Madre Tierra Association, a group linked to the local Catholic church that worked to protect forests and promote organic agriculture. The¬†Alianza por la Solidaridad human rights network denounced the slaying¬†as a “cowardly murder that adds to the many cases of attacks on leaders who work for the common good.” The network counts 16 social leaders assassinated in¬†Guatemala last year‚ÄĒcompared to three in 2017.

The Alianza por la Solidaridad is also demanding the release of¬†Bernardo Caal Xol, a community leader in Alta Verapaz department, who was imprisoned last year on “delinquency” charges related to his protests against the local Renace hydro-electric project on the R√≠o Cahab√≥n, which would flood traditional lands of the Qeqchi Maya people. (InfoLibre, Spain, Religi√≥n Digital, Spain)

Photo via InfoLibre