THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AND
163. Human rights defenders perform an essential function in society. Indeed, people who work in favor of the promotion and defense of human rights, as well as the organizations to which they are part of, carry out a crucial function in order to guarantee the free exercise of fundamental freedoms and the control of the proper functioning of the democratic institutions. Member States of the OAS have recognized the important role carried out by human rights defenders in the promotion of awareness and in the observance of such rights, and therefore in the defense of democracy and inter-American values.
164. The Commission emphasizes that human rights defenders have a leading role in the process towards the effectiveness of the rule of law. The action of defenders in the safeguard of individuals and groups of persons who are victims of human rights violations, their actions in the public denunciation of the injustices affecting important sectors of society and of the necessary control carried out over public officers and democratic institutions, among other activities, turns them into an irreplaceable building block for a solid and lasting democracy.
165. Large part of the people dedicated to the defense of human rights in the hemisphere carry out their job subjected to several types of harassment, such as assaults, clandestine surveillance, physical abuse, threats, intimidations and in some cases, attacks against their life or humane treatment. As a result, their work in the denunciation and supervision of power is vital for the consolidation of democracy and places human rights defenders on situations of great vulnerability and danger.
166. In several opportunities, the OAS General Assembly has spoken about the importance given to the respect and protection of human rights defenders, in recognition of the importance of their job and the vulnerability in which they live. For example, in June 5, 2001 the General Assembly approved Resolution AG/RES. 1818, whereby it reiterated its support to the work carried out by human rights defenders, and to recognize their valuable contribution in the protection, promotion and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Furthermore, it condemned the acts that hinder and difficult the work that they carry out, and entrusted the IACHR to continue paying due attention to the situation of human rights defenders in the Hemisphere. Likewise, Resolution AG/RES. 1842 of June 4, 2002 refers to the General Assembly’s support to the duties of persons, groups and organizations of civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights in the Americas. Finally, through Resolution AG/RES.1920 of June 10, 2003, the General Assembly condemned once more the acts that pose a threat to the activity of the defenders and “to urge member states to continue stepping up their efforts to adopt the necessary measures to safeguard the lives, freedom, and personal safety of human rights defenders (…)”
167. On the other hand, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights recognized the importance of the labor carried out by human rights defenders and reaffirmed the right and responsibility of individuals, groups and organs of society in the promotion and protection of universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
168. Likewise, in April 2002, the Secretary General of the UN, on request of its Commission on Human Rights, appointed Mrs. Hina Jilani as Special Representative for this subject matter. In the reports submitted before the Secretary General of the United Nations in January 2003, the Special Representative has noticed “that in the last years the most basic rights of human rights defenders have been violated in Guatemala, and that such violations are rarely investigated properly” and has reaffirmed the need to make a greater international effort to protect people dedicated to the defense of human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, in view of the systematic nature of the violations they suffer. With these descriptions, Mrs. Hilani mentioned that these human rights violations “would not have happened or left in impunity, without the tacit agreement of national authorities, that is, of the State as a whole.” She pointed out Guatemala as one of the countries that requires more attention in this subject.
169. On the other hand, according to the difficulties faced by human rights defenders in the Hemisphere and the importance of their work, the Commission created in December 2001 the Unit for Human Rights Defenders. With regard to the situation of human rights defenders in Guatemala, the Unit for Human Rights Defenders participated in a visit of the IACHR in July 2002, as well as in an in loco visit.
170. In relation to conventional regulations, several provisions of the American Convention are relevant for the analysis of the situation of human rights defenders, in particular the provisions of Articles 4 and 5 of the Convention, which protect the right to life and the right to humane treatment. Similarly, the right to a fair trial and the right to judicial protection are enshrined in Articles 8 and 25 of the Convention and state regulations for the protection of human rights defenders, as well as for the rest of the population. Other relevant Articles are Article 13 of the Convention, which stipulates the right to freedom of thought and expression, and Article 15, which stipulates the right of assembly, and Article 16, which sets out the right to freedom of association.
171. In spite of the safeguards existing in international standards, most of the international observers agree that, in the last years, the rights and freedoms of human rights defenders in Guatemala have been continuously violated. According to Amnesty International, almost without exception, the main human rights organizations in Guatemala have suffered serious abuses. It has been specified that these acts range from assaults to their offices (in which important documentation about human rights cases has been stolen) and the intervention of their communications and electronic data files to threats and physical attacks, by means of violations, tortures and extra judicial executions.
172. The Commission notices with concern the progressive deterioration of the situation of human rights activists in Guatemala, who have seen themselves pointed out, due to the activity they carry out and placing their lives and humane treatment in grave risk. The Commission received plenty of information that evidences a pattern of intimidation towards them, which will be described in this chapter. Likewise, the situation of justice agents in Guatemala, who have been subjected to the same type of attacks and aggressions due to the activity they carry out, will also be developed.
B. Human rights defenders in Guatemala
173. The Commission has carried out a constant monitoring of the situation of human rights defenders in Guatemala and has noted with concern the progressive deterioration of the situation in the last years. In the Fifth report on the Situation of Human Rights in Guatemala in 2001, the Commission pointed out that:
the Commission has tracked with deepening concern the increase in threats and attacks against human rights defenders in Guatemala over the last two and a half years. Information received by the Commission indicates that, while such threats declined significantly in the period leading up to the signing of the peace, they began to increase again within a year, and have risen steadily since then. The year 2000 has seen not only an increase in the number of threats and attacks, but also an intensification in their seriousness. MINUGUA has noted a link between this evolution and the quest to clarify past human rights violations, particularly insofar as the initiation of new judicial proceedings for this purpose are concerned.
174. In June 14, 2002 the Commission reiterated its concern due to the growing number of acts of violence and intimidation committed against defenders. Likewise, in that opportunity it recognized the importance of the recent creation, within the State, of a Special Prosecution Office and a Presidential Commission for the investigation of threats against human rights defenders.
175. From July 23 to 26, 2002 the Commission’s Rapporteur for Guatemala and the Unit for Human Rights Defenders made a visit to this country with the purpose of assessing the situation of human rights defenders. In this opportunity, the Commission received information stating that during the first semester of 2002, there were more than 100 recorded cases of attacks and acts of intimidation against defenders and individuals that work for the justice system.
176. During a recent visit, the Commission had the opportunity to meet with numerous non governmental organizations and with State authorities that described the situation of human rights defenders in Guatemala and noted a significant increase of attacks, that directly or indirectly, hinder or difficult the work of human rights defenders.
2. Acts that hinder or difficult the work
developed by human rights
177. The Commission received plenty of information that evidences a pattern of intimidation towards human rights defenders in relation to the profile of the victims, the motives and the modus operandi in these cases. During 2002 and what has passed of 2003, cases of harassment, acts of intimidation, attacks to humane treatment, breaking and entering into premises, as well as destruction of documents have continued to occur, affecting human rights activists. During the visit, the Commission was informed of more than 160 attacks and acts of intimidation against defenders, witnesses and social leaders, which were recorded from January 2002 to March 2003.
178. According to the figures provided, the main targets of attacks can be divided into two categories. The first one is composed of human rights defenders that carry out investigations related with human rights violations occurred during the armed conflict, which include the victims themselves, witnesses, lawyers, human rights activists and forensic experts. The second category refers to defenders who participate in the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights and the rights of indigenous populations, such as unionists, peasants, members of indigenous populations and environmentalist organizations. Most victims of acts of violence correspond to human rights activists who investigate and compile evidence about cases of forced disappearances, murders, tortures and other serious violations of human rights related with the armed conflict. The Commission considers that this shows that attacks are aimed to ensure impunity of human rights violations occurred during the armed conflict, by means of intimidation of those who try to achieve justice in these cases through prosecution and sentencing of those responsible.
179. An illustrative case of the preceding are the serious threats received since the beginning of 2002 by members of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, due to their work in the exhumation of cemeteries where the remains of the victims of the armed conflict are found. The written text of one of the threats received expresses literally:
(…) We do not want you anymore bastards, we will finish with you, the dead, dead are and dead will remain. In a war there are no guilty parties, and it is not your place to judge us (…) There will be no judicial proceedings concerning any exhumations done by you bastards, nor of any damn foreigner, we will first kill you piece of shit.
180. The Commission confirms that the threats and aggressions to human rights defenders are related with the profile of the victims. Such acts are directed to hinder or to obstruct the work carried out by human rights defenders during investigations that tend to clarify human rights violations committed by members of the Army or by State officials during the armed conflict, and to difficult the normal development of judicial proceedings that are active. The lack of disbanding organizations that favor criminal acts and violate human rights and the lack of punishment and removal from their posts of those responsible, favor impunity. Indeed, the Commission notes that there is a notorious link between impunity in the country and the situation of vulnerability of defenders.
181. In relation with that, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered provisional measures in favor of the members of the Myrna Mack Foundation and the lawyers who work in the Mack case, who were victims of similar threats. The threats included a characteristic pattern in this case because they were sent in written form under the signature of “Guatemaltecos de Verdad” [“True Guatemalans”] and are addressed to the staff of the Foundation under the name of “Enemigos de la Patria” [“Enemies of the State”]. At the end, the threats showed the following warning: “Seen activist…Dead activist”. The Court considered that:
The background submitted by the Commission in its request demonstrates prima facie the existence of a situation of extreme gravity and urgency regarding the lives and physical safety of the members of the Myrna Mack Foundation and of Helen Mack Chang.
182. On the other hand, the Commission notes that different ways of operation exist with the purpose of harassing the defenders. First, the persons subject to intimidation are informed that they are under control or surveillance. This is made in several ways. The activities consist of telephone calls, surveillances, persecutions or espionage, which in most of the cases are visible and evident. However, the most frequent method is the written threat, threats by telephone, electronically or by using other third persons. These actions have the purpose of causing fear and immobilizing the victims, so they will stop the normal development of their work. The IACHR received information of 44 incidents of threats and harassments against human rights defenders between year 2002 and the first three months of 2003.
183. Second, the Commission received information about the obstruction of the defenders’ activities by means of unlawful entries to the central office of human rights organizations and to the houses of human rights defenders, taking away with them files and computer equipment. In this way, it is possible to compile an important amount of information, as well as causing fear and affecting the institutional functioning of these human rights organizations. These acts are characterized because no valuable objects are taken away from the premises or homes, so they cannot be considered as common crimes. The Commission confirms that, due to these unlawful entries, information is taken not only to use it, but also to limit the work carried out by activists. According to the information sent to the IACHR, during 2002 and the first three months of 2003, at least six unlawful entries were made to headquarters of human rights organizations, in one of them more than once, as well as some unlawful entries to houses of human rights defenders.
184. Third, intimidation can be carried out by means of attacking the life and physical integrity of the defender, either by armed aggressions, kidnapping or intents of kidnap, sudden attacks, forced disappearances and/or murders. In these cases, the results of the attack extend to the community of human rights defenders because the fear is generalized among the rest of human rights defenders and organizations. For example, according to the information sent to the IACHR, during year 2002 and the first three months of 2003, three human rights defenders were killed.
185. Finally, the threats and attacks to human rights defenders in Guatemala are still in impunity. The cover up of the act of harassment or aggression to the defender is evident and consists, for example, in disappearing the evidence related to the facts. Impunity in these cases favors new violations to human rights defenders, which at the same time limits their work.
186. In relation to the perpetrators of these facts, there is a generalized consensus, recognized even by the Government, that the increase of acts of violence is related with the existence and functioning of illegal bodies and clandestine security structures, which have connections with organized crime, State agents and other State organs, particularly military intelligence services. The Commission received plenty of information which indicates that clandestine bodies and illegal armed groups participate in the attacks against human rights defenders, to which chapter II of this Report referred to. It has been stated that these groups are linked with some members of the Armed Forces, active or retired, in particular with military intelligence, because attacks show that these perpetrators have the collaboration of military intelligence bodies, by using enough resources, intelligence information and a complex division of labors.
187. Recently, and after signing the document that creates the Commission for the Investigation of Illegal Bodies and Clandestine Security Apparatus, the Commission received information about a series of incidents against human rights defenders, that represent a large harassment. Between the end of March and beginning of April 2003 several serious harassments were made against human rights defenders. Likewise, according to the information received, it is possible to establish a link between the increase of violations against human rights defenders and some events of political, legal or other nature. In effect, information was received about the increase in the number and intensity of violations to the rights of defenders when political events took place. For example, violations were committed against the rights of human rights defenders in May 2001, during the trial of three Army officers and a clergyman, who were accused of being involved in the murder of Monsignor Gerardi during the months of September and October 2001, when a trial was starting against the suspected instigators in the murder of Myrna Mack; in February 2002, in connection with the meeting of the Grupo Consultivo para Guatemala; and in June 2002 in previous moments before the visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary General pertaining human rights defenders and the visit of the Commissioner Susana Villarán, Rapporteur of the IACHR for Guatemala.
188. The IACHR considers that the recent increase of violence and acts of harassment against human rights defenders correspond to the worsening of the social, political and institutional situation during the last years. The legitimate work of defenders directed to report the serious abuses committed during the era of the armed conflict, has provoked that certain perpetrators chose to attack defenders by several means.
189. Finally, the Commission wants to point out that impunity, the weakness of monitoring bodies, the existence of clandestine organs and in particular, intimidatory acts against human rights defenders, result in a serious deterioration of the conditions needed to carry out the defense of human rights, which seriously affect the rule of law in Guatemala.
3. State Initiatives
190. As for the State initiatives in response to the situation described, the Commission received information about the creation of the Security and Human Rights Presidential Cabinet, composed by the Vice-president, the Minister of Defense, the Presidential Secretariat for Executive Coordination, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of COPREDEH; and the creation of the Strategic Analysis Secretariat, that is dedicated to the study and investigation of threats and attacks against human rights defenders.
191. With respect to the measures adopted by the State to provide protection for human rights defenders, the State, in its observations on this report, indicated that the Ministry of the Interior, through the National Civil Police and in coordination with the Presidential Commission on Human Rights (COPREDEH), has provided security both to installations housing human rights organizations, and to their representatives and activists. According to information provided by the State, there are currently some 2,000 PNC officers assigned to protecting citizens claiming to be victims of threats and intimidation.
192. On the other hand, in May 24, 2002, the Attorney General announced the appointment of a Special Prosecutor on Human Rights, who must investigate cases of violence against human rights defenders. The Commission observes that the results of its interventions are not as expected. This can be the result of the detriment made to the work of the Prosecution due to the lack of enough personnel and resources needed to provide proper attention to all cases they are in charge of. The Special Prosecutor for Human Rights, created to investigate emblematic cases, also reported that the resources assigned were not enough to be able to investigate the large number of important cases they were responsible of. Anyway, the results of the investigations carried out by the Special Prosecution Office are far from been satisfactory.
193. Likewise, in May 24, 2002, a Presidential Commission was created to investigate the threats and intimidations against human rights defenders. However, this Commission had a very limited validity since its mandate expired in July 30, 2002 without achieving concrete results during this term.
According to the role of human rights
defenders in the consolidation of the Guatemalan democracy, the lack of
adequate State response to the threats and attacks against human rights
defenders endangers the strengthening of the rule of law in the
country. By reason of the these previous considerations, the Commission
concludes that the initiatives of the State to remedy this situation are
insufficient and have not achieved the implementation of a comprehensive
response for an adequate protection of human rights defenders.
C. Situation of justice agents
1. Acts that difficult or limit the development of the work
carried out by
195. The Commission states its deep concern for the situation of professionals in law that participate in the fight against impunity and corruption, who have also been targets of numerous attacks. Indeed, the Commission has noted that in the last years there has been a large increase of threats, harassments and attacks suffered by the justice agents. According to the available information, in the period between 1997 and 2000 there was an increase of 277% in these cases. On the other hand, the State reported that in the first three months of 2003, about 39 judges were threatened, two suffered attacks and one was killed. This represents a significant increase compared to the figure of 2002, year in which 76 judges were threatened.
196. The attacks suffered by justice agents are similar to those suffered by human rights defenders. In relation to the causes of these attacks, the Commission received information that the aggressions to justice agents are related mainly with their work in criminal proceedings aimed to clarify acts of corruption, which have been common in the last few years, especially against those involved in proceedings related with organized crime and drug traffic. Cases related to organized crime during the armed conflict ranked in second place, and finally there are those cases related to common crimes. However, the IACHR considers that State authorities have not carried out an exhaustive analysis of the problem, nor included reliable official information that could guide the investigations towards the identification of the victim’s profile, the most frequent types of intimidation, the identity of suspected perpetrators, and to deepen on the causes that originated these violent acts.
197. The Commission observes that justice in Guatemala continues been managed in an environment characterized by violent situations which affect the independence of the judiciary and the personal safety of the justice agents and their family members. The threats, intimidations and other acts of violence against the life and physical integrity of the justice agents, lawyers, human rights activists, witnesses and persons that for several reasons interfere in judicial proceedings or in criminal investigations, have significantly affected the development of their work, due to the fear of suffering the consequences for carrying out their functions duly. On the other hand, the users of the judicial system are also victims of the effects of the administration of justice insecurity, noting that, in many occasions, the Guatemalan citizen chooses not to go to court and they abandon the judicial proceedings, or abstain from collaborating with the judicial bodies.
198. The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Human Rights Defense stated in its report that one of the factors that encourage impunity in Guatemala is the lack of adequate protection for the justice agents. Furthermore, the concern for the increase of attacks against justice agents has been expressed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers in the following sense:
The harassments and threats to judicial officers continue to be object of concern. The Special Rapporteur regrets that these incidents have really increased instead of dropped. Even if the strengthening of the judicial system can be reflected, the increase of these incidents should stop before they become again a serious threat to the independence of the judiciary.
199. The pattern of threats, harassment and attacks described previously do not limit only to those who work in non governmental organizations of human rights or in the Judiciary, but also to anyone in Guatemala who gets involved in the processing of human rights cases or cases of corruption before the local courts, anyone who publishes and/or discloses information about these topics or supports the victims of human rights violations. Furthermore, it is suffered by witnesses who testify on these facts. During the visit the Commission received information about the threats, harassment and attacks suffered by members of the Churches that get involved in cases of human rights violations. Likewise, the information received indicates that, after the intentional burning of the parish church of Nebaj, witnesses and clergymen received threats, their telephones were tapped and the area was “cleaned” with the purpose of alleging that the fire had been accidental. This suggests that these facts are part of the same pattern against anyone who shows interest in fighting against impunity in Guatemala. According to the most recent report of MINUGUA:
After the progress in human rights registered during the first stages of the peace process, a long period of stagnation occurred. Afterwards, during the period under examination, the situation of human rights in Guatemala truly deteriorated. MINUGUA verified several complaints in which the victims of threats and murders were human rights defenders, church workers, judges, witnesses, journalists, political activists and union leaders.
2. State Initiatives
200. According to the information gathered during the visit, there is no effective plan made by the State for justice agents and witnesses that are threatened and attacked. The inactivity of the State in the protection of justice agents took the Judiciary to the point of creating its own system of protection for its members. According to the information received, there is a Program for the Protection of Witnesses, dependent of the Prosecution Office, that is used to protect witnesses that have been threatened, but does not count with enough resources for a proper functioning. Specifically, it is pointed out that the insufficiency of resources has been the cause of the lack of effective programs for the protection of judges and other members of the Judiciary, who suffer threats and attacks mentioned previously.
201. The Commission observes that due to these problems, the judicial bodies have carried out some initiatives intending to create coordination mechanisms. For example, the Prosecution Office created in year 2001 the Fiscal Unit for crimes against justice agents. However, according to the compiled information, no specific regulation has been created for its functioning, and not enough human and material resources have been given in order to carry out its work. Due to the increase of these type of aggressions, this Fiscal Unit has been questioned because no advances were made during the investigations. The information provided points out that the number of files given to the Special Prosecutor have risen above 150 during the first semester of 2002 and until now only one case was passed to trial and judgment delivered.
202. Likewise, according to the information provided, the Supreme Court of Justice created the Security Commission for the Judiciary. This commission is presided by the President of the Criminal Chamber, who is in charge of coordinating the activity of this body with other institutions. It has been pointed out that the possibilities of action of this body have been limited by budgetary restrictions that affect the Judiciary as a whole. In that respect, the IACHR requests the State to adopt the necessary measures in order for this body to achieve a complete fulfillment of its institutional purposes.
203. The Commission received information indicating that the Judiciary ordered that when a complaint for threats or attacks against a justice agent was filed, the Security Adviser of the Presidency and the Administrative Coordinator of the Manager’s Office of the Judiciary, will take the statement from the complainant and will immediately coordinate their work with the Security Unit of the Judiciary, with the National Civil Police and the Prosecution’s Office. Once the complaint is submitted by members of the Prosecution’s Office or the Judiciary, the National Civil Police will be in charge of taking the necessary measures in order to provide protection to that person. However, the Commission has noted that until now the National Civil Police has not provided a Special Unit for working directly and permanently with the Fiscal Unit for Crimes against justice agents, in order to make the corresponding investigations. The Commission considers that such implementation is fundamentally important for the effective treatment of these problems.
204. The Commission considers that the initiatives adopted by the State, in order to deal with these difficult problems faced by justice agents in Guatemala did not changed the pattern of threats and attacks they suffer. Until now, the undertakings described before have not turned into concrete and satisfactory results. Indeed, the Commission notes that a comprehensive and articulated policy has not been created within the different State sectors in order to really face this problem. The IACHR urges the State to continue looking for effective solutions that can achieve the proper protection of justice agents, so they can effectively develop their functions without any pressure.
D. Conclusions and Recommendations
205. The Commission wants to emphasize that human rights defenders have a leading role in the process for the full effectiveness of the rule of law. The action of defenders, by defending individuals and groups of persons who are victims of human rights violations, by the public denunciation of the injustice that affect important sectors of society and by the necessary control carried out over public officers and democratic institutions, among other activities, turns them into an irreplaceable building block for a solid and lasting democratic society.
206. The State has not complied with its obligation to protect the members of society that are threatened and attacked. Neither has it adopted enough measures that ensure an adequate environment for the development of the work carried out by human rights defenders and justice agents, as key elements for the strengthening of democracy. Finally, the attacks against human rights defenders and justice agents remain in total impunity. The Commission reiterates that impunity of violations against human rights defenders favors the commitment of new attacks aimed to limit and hinder their work in the defense of human rights.
207. The Commission recognizes the work of human rights defenders in Guatemala, who in spite of the risky and difficult circumstances in which they live and develop their job, they continue working tirelessly and in a disinterested way in order to achieve justice in society.
208. With the purpose of contributing to the protection of human rights defenders and to ensure the effective development of their labors, and according to the analysis and abovementioned conclusions, the Commission recommends to the State of Guatemala:
1. To adopt policies which recognize the legitimacy of the labor carried out by human rights defenders and social leaders, that include the design of additional training activities to ensure the respect for human rights defenders among the security forces, and the formulation of unequivocal declarations from high rank officers that confirm the legitimacy and importance of the work carried out by human rights defenders and their organizations.
2. To have the necessary human, budgetary and logistic resources in order to guarantee the implementation of adequate and effective measures of protection when the personal security and lives of these persons are in danger. Likewise, to ensure that security measures are effectively put into practice when demanded by conditions of risk.
3. To agree with human rights defenders on the measures of security, in order to ensure their relevance and allow them to continue developing their activity.
4. To act with renewed determination to guarantee the investigation, prosecution and punishment of those responsible for the threats, attacks and other acts of intimidation against human rights defenders and social leaders.
5. To establish specialized units of the National Civil Police and of the Attorney General Office, with the necessary resources and training, in order for them to work in coordination and to respond with due diligence to the investigation of these facts. Likewise, to increase the resources of the Human Rights Office with the purpose of strengthening its capacity to work in the defense and protection of the activity developed by human rights defenders.
6. To implement properly and effectively the precautionary measures requested by the IACHR, and to ensure the constant assignment of human and material resources required for this purpose.
209. With regard to the threats, harassment and intimidation against justice agents, the Commission recommends the State:
1. To dedicate its greatest efforts to increase the budgetary assignment destined for the protection of judges, lawyers and prosecutors. To give adequate training and remuneration to the security staff that the National Civil Police and the Supreme Court designate for the protection of judges and prosecutors.
2. To establish a special unit of the National Civil Police to work direct and permanently with the Fiscal Unit concerning crimes against justice agents, in order to carry out the corresponding investigations.
3. To adopt and undertake the appropriate measures to guarantee the investigation, prosecution and punishment for the threats, attacks and other acts of intimidation against justice agents. Likewise, to dedicate the necessary resources and protection to the Special Prosecutor that must investigate the attacks carried out against the justice agents, as well as to the Human Rights Prosecution’s Office.
 “Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”, Resolution approved by the General Assembly 53/144, UN, December 9, 1998.
 Report submitted to the Commission on Human Rights as a result of Resolution 2000/61, about the visit to Guatemala between May 26 and June 1, 2002. Document UN/:E/CN.4/2003/104/add.2, December 6, 2002.
 Report “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Human Rights Defenders”, submitted by Mrs. Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary General pertaining human rights defenders, according to Resolution 2000/61 of the Commission on Human Rights, E/CN.4/2003, 3 January 2003.
 Amnesty International, Reason for deep concern: The Evaluation carried out by Amnesty International on the current situation of human rights in Guatemala, April 2003.
 Fifth Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Guatemala, OAS/Ser.L/V/II.111 Doc. 21 rev. April 6, 2001.
 IACHR, Press Release N° 27/02, “IACHR expresses concern at the situation of human rights defenders in Guatemala”, 14 June 2002.
 IACHR, Press Release N° 30/02, “Inter-American Commission concern over the situation of human rights defenders in Guatemala”, 26 July 2002.
 Report submitted by Mrs. Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary General pertaining human rights defenders, according to Resolution 2000/61 of the Commission on Human Rights, United Nations, Economic and Social Council, p.15, para.55.
 According to information received in the IACHR during year 2002 as part of a proceeding of precautionary measures in favor of the Forensic Anthropologists.
 Order of the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Provisional Measures requested by the IACHR with respect to the Republic of Guatemala: Helen Mack Chang et al. 14 August 2002 ratified by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in its Order of 26 August 2002.
 Among the most recent ones it is possible to mention, inter alia, the threats against the manager of the Legal Project of CALDH, Hector Amilcar Moflinedo Caceres. On this same date threats were recorded against a member of the Association “Donde estan los Niños y las Niñas”, Mr. Jose Linares. Likewise, on March 5, 2003 threats were reported against Mr. Mario Minera, Coordinator for the local power project of CALDH. As examples of cases of surveillance and intimidation it is possible to mention the threats and surveillances against the members of the Myrna Mack Foundation and Mrs. Helen Mack.
 The organizations that suffered unlawful entries were CASODI (Coordinadora de Asociaciones y Organizaciones de Desarrollo Integral), the Human Rights Coordinator of Guatemala, the Instancia Multi-Institucional por la Paz y la Concordia, the Centro Internacional para Investigaciones en Derechos Humanos and the Movimiento Social por la Niñez y la Juventud in Guatemala. Also, unlawful entries were made to the homes of human rights defenders. To that effect, it it possible to mention the unlawful entry to the house of Mr. Joviel Acevedo Ayala, Coordinator of the Asamblea Nacional del Magisterio, member of STEG and UASP carried out on January 23, 2003. The IACHR received information concerning the belligerent activity during the professors strike held between January and March 2003. Another example is the assault against the house of Mario Polanco, Head of the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM), one of the most active human rights organizations in the impact of the creation of the CICIACS. In April 5 of this same year, non identified individuals have asked for “Polanco” and robbed essential documents for the work that GAM carries out.
 In September 6, 2002 a member of the Coordinadora Nacional de Viudas de Guatemala (CONAVIGUA), Mr. Manuel Garcia de la Cruz, was killed and his body was found mutilated and beheaded. The assasination of Pedro Mendez Gutierrez, member of the Asociacion de Desarrollo Integral de Moncufar occurred in February 1, 2003. On the other hand, Diego Xon Salazar, mayan priest and one of the founders of the GAM, was killed in 2003, near his house in Chichicastenango, Department of El Quicha. Diego Xon Salazar had been receiving death threats weeks before he died.
 According to the figures registered in the document “Situación de violaciones a los derechos humanos de defensores de derechos humanos, periodistas que cubren derechos humanos, sindicalistas: Estudio Analitico”, document given by the Organizations of Human Rights to the IACHR during its visit, there were 130 acts of aggression against defenders, which had their maximun intensity during the month of March when 39 acts were recorded and from April to June, when 31 incidents of aggression were recorded.
 Among these there are cases of genocide submitted by the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) and the Center for Legal Action on Human Rights (CALDH) against high ranking members of the Army during the governments of General Romeo Lucas Garcia (1978-1982) and General Efrain Rios Montt (1982-1983). See the Report “Amnesty International, Reason for deep concern: The Evaluation carried out by Amnesty International on the current situation of human rights in Guatemala”, April 2003.
 According to the publication “Ventana al OJ”, informative organ of the Judicial Body. The activities carried out include: a) Interviews with the Presidential Secretariat for Executive Coordination and National Defence; b) preparation of a registry of cases, classified by their seriousness; c) execution of a training program for security personnel; d) security manual for judges and magistrates; and e) modifications to the judicial facilities to prevent the risk of attacks.
 In accordance with information provided by Carlos Esteban Larios Ochaita, President of the Supreme Court, in the meeting with members of the Supreme Court and according to information provided in the meeting with organizations of the civil society on “The Situation of Justice Agents”, which took place in May 27, 2003 during an in loco visit. See also the declarations of Dina Ochoa, President of the Association of Judges and Magistrates, published in the Weekly Report on Human Rights of the Commission of Human Rights of Guatemala, No. 01/03, January 1-9, 2003. See also “Press Monitoring. Report to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers for the period between January 1 and November 30, 2002,” Myrna Mack Foundation.
 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers of the Judiciary: “The Civil and Political Rights, in particular the aspects related with: the Independence of the Judiciary, the Administration of Justice and Impunity”, Human Rights Commission, Social and Economic Council, UN, 21 December 2001.
 Information received by the Commission during its visit to Nebaj in 27 March 2003, as part of the in loco visit.
 Thirteenth Report on Human Rights of the United Nations Human Rights Verification Mission in Guatemala, that includes the period between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002, MINUGUA, 22 August 2002.
 Thirteenth Report on Human Rights of the United Nations Human Rights Verification Mission in Guatemala, that includes the period between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002, MINUGUA, 22 August 2002.
 Report provided in February 23, 2003 by Carlos Larios Ochaita, President of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court of Justice.
 Violence against justice agents constitutes a special type of crime, and this is why a specialized treatment of these cases is needed, as well as a specific team of investigators should be in charge.