been uncovered. Several military officers have been ac- cused of stealing hundreds of millions of quetzals. Gonzalo Marroquin, a well-known journalist and businessman who is president of the Inter-American Press Society and di- rector of the Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre, was also threatened. At risk is, Otto Pérez Molina, retired army general and current congressman and secretary general of the Patriot Party. The last leader mentioned was Mon- signorAlvaro Ramazzini, Bishop of San Marcos, who has publicly expressed concern about the dangers of min- ing and has also accompanied campesinos in their struggles for land. Ramazzini was previously the target of an al- leged assassination plan.
Pérez Molina told the Guatemalan press that he had been alerted last week to the plan, which is laid out in a twelve-page document that contains information on the routines of each person and other data gained through surveillance.
Agence France Press obtained a copy of the anonymous document, which is now in the hands of the Presidential Human Rights Commission. The document explains that Pérez should be eliminated so that the Mexi- can drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman can enter Guatemala and conduct his operations from there. The document notes that it was Pérez who captured “El Chapo” during the government of former president Ramiro de León Carpio and personally handed him in to the Mexican authorities.
According to Guatemalan press reports, supposed drug traffickers were behind the plan to assassinate all four leaders, but their motives were not clear.
In a statement, however, GAM said the follow- ing: “It is evident that a threat of this sort comes from the clandestine structures that never were dissolved and that now are at the service of powerful sectors. These struc- tures are made up of those who violated human rights in the recent past and today seek the manner to enrich them- selves and prevent the investigation of their crimes.”
GAM also stated that the Minister of the Interior, as the official in charge of guaranteeing citizens’security, should not have publicly revealed this sort of threat. GAM noted that the announcement of the death list provokes more vulnerability and fear in Guatemalan society because it is evident that the security forces do not have the ca- pacity to combat crime. GAM asked the minister to do the following, instead of making statements with no posi- tive results: dismantle and prevent any assassination plan that may be underway, arrest the intellectual and material
April 1, 2005
authors, and punish them in an exemplary manner. GAM asked the government, especially the Minister of the Inte- rior, to guarantee the security of the four people threat- ened with death and to solve the case as quickly as pos- sible.
Another Attack Against CALDH Staff 3/18/05 - On March 16, when the driver and courier for the Center for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH) was leaving the office of Maya Organization Coun#cil in Gua-8 temala City, he was intercepted by three armed men, told to get out of the car, and give them his keys.
CALDH believes the act to be political violence, especially since Galicia was followed by a white van with tinted windows parked behind the pickup truck he was driving. The three men insisted that he tell them the name of the place where he worked and then threatened to kill him. Upon telling them that he worked in CALDH, he was told, “Nothing is going to happen to you, don’t worry.”
Approximately every six months CALDH staff have experienced similar intimidations. On March 11, 2004, CALDH members were threatened, followed by another event on September 11, 2004, and then the most recent occurrence on March 16, 2005. The previous acts have not been investigated much less the people respon- sible for them brought to justice.
CALDH does not consider the acts to be casual acts of violence; instead, they pertain to the same politics of kidnapping, harassment, and intimidation reverberat- ing in the same activities that they investigate.
Curiously, two hours after the incident, security guards from Security Golan arrived at the CALDH of- fices for the third time in recent weeks, allegedly respond- ing to an alarm. They later admitted that they had again been mistaken and had been dispatched to the wrong address.
Journalists at CAFTA Protests Threatened 3/18/05 - Journalists Marielos Monzón and Gabriel Mazzarovich have been subjected to death threats and intimidation, in what appears to be an effort to force them to stop reporting on demonstrations by groups including farmers, indigenous communities, and teachers, who say the recently ratified CentralAmerica Free TradeAgree- ment (CAFTA) will destroy their livelihood. At 12:50 pm on March 17, Marielos Monzón received three consecu- tive phone calls on her mobile phone, but nobody spoke when she answered. The calls appeared to have been
Vol 17 No 7