CONDEMNS ILLEGAL RAID ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY’S
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights most emphatically condemns the
raid on the Headquarters of the Human Right’s Attorney’s Office in
Guatemala carried out on August 26, 2003 by unidentified persons, who
examined and damaged official documents and took away files and computers.
Given the nature of these acts, it would appear to be a case of
intimidation rather than regular theft.
work done by the Human Rights Attorney’s Office in Guatemala in
defending and protecting human rights has often come under attack in the
form of violent raids on its branch offices in Izabal, Escuintla, Peten,
Baja Verapaz, and Zacapa; death threats against the Human Rights Attorney
and members of his team; physical assault of three members of the
institution; and the murder of Josué Israel López, the assistant to the
Human Rights Attorney in Chimaltenango.
Commission considers that these grave incidents form part of a series of
acts of intimidation against human rights defenders, journalists, and
social and political leaders, as well as against justice system officials,
designed to obstruct their work and to destabilize the community involved
in the defense and protection of human rights in Guatemala and society as
acts of intimidation add to the IACHR’s often-stated concern at the
evident deterioration of the rule of law in Guatemala.
The IACHR urges the Guatemalan State, as the party responsible for
the security of citizens and sole party responsible for investigating
crime, to guarantee the conditions and freedom needed for work on behalf
of the defense and protection of human rights and, in particular, to
prosecute those responsible for planning and executing these abominable
D.C., August 27, 2003