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MADRE Denounces the Shooting of Guatemalan Activist Yolanda Veliz

Posted on: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Keywords: Guatemala, Human Rights Advocacy, Central America and Caribbean, Environmental Justice

MADRE denounces the recent shooting of Guatemalan human rights activist Yolanda Oqueli Veliz.

Read the statement below from our friends at Petateras Mesoamerica calling on the Guatemalan government to investigate this crime.  

To learn more, please click here.  


Petateras Mesoamericanas has joined global protests against the shooting of 33 year old Guatemalan activist Yolanda Oqueli Veliz on June 13th, 2012 in front of the El Tambor Canadian gold mine in San José del Golfo, a municipality of the Metropolitan Department of Guatemala, 28 kilometers to the northeast of the capital City.

She is currently out of danger from the wounds that are being treated at a hospital, but since death threats against her and other activists have been common in the last months, campaigns for the protection of human rights and land rights are urgent.

Campaigns have been launched  by feminists  and by Madre Selva environmentalists  in Guatemala and internationally by Democracy in Action and by Amnesty International.

Oquelí, a strong voice and leader of the movement against a mining project that affects land and dwellers in the area had been participation on a blockade  in resistance to the project, together with thousands of people organized in the North Metropolitan Peoples in Resistance Front (FRENAM).  Their main demand is principal demand on their constitutional right to a community consultation. The industrial mining project began exploratory operations in early 2012 year without any consent from the local population.
Petateras is currently approaching social movements, media and environmentalist and feminist organizations participating at the People´s Summit (/) in "Rio+20", the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 20-22, 2012.

You can sign this petition calling on the Guatemalan Government to investigate this crime and prosecute those responsible, by sending your name here.

* We denounce and condemn the shooting of Yolanda Oqueli. This is one more attack on the brave women and men who, through the use of peaceful protest and nonviolent demonstration, are defending their rights to clean water, a healthy environment, and self-determination.

* We call on the Guatemalan authorities to investigate, capture, and prosecute all those responsible for this heinous crime; the hired guns as well as those who planned the assassination.

* We insist that the authorities guarantee the safety and well-being of Yolanda, her family and the community members of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc and find a negotiated solution to this conflict which prioritizes the needs of the Guatemalan people over the profits of international corporations.

* We stand in solidarity with Yolanda and wish her a quick and complete recovery. We offer our heartfelt sympathy for her family, especially her young children, for the fear and trauma that they have suffered as a result of this terrible attack.

Please send copies of you name and country to Petateras Mesoamérica  at

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