Environmental defender slain in Guatemala
Environmental activist Diana Isabel Hernández 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 Suchitepéquez. Hernández 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—compared 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 Río Cahabón, which would flood traditional lands of the Qeqchi Maya people. (InfoLibre, Spain, Religión Digital, Spain)