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25 September 2009 | | |

All for One

Mission demands release of Guatemalan Mayan activist Ramiro Choc

1:57 minutes
Download: MP3 (1.3 Mb)

The International Verification Mission on the effects of mining in Guatemala on indigenous and peasant communities continues.

Victorino Tejaxun, member of CEIBA-Friends of the Earth Guatemala, told Real World Radio who they have been meeting, in this case in El Estor municipality, to the north-east of the country.

The imprisonment of activist Ramiro Choc, who has been fighting for the rights of the communities for years, has called a great amount of attention among the population of the region, according to Angelica, one of the people interviewed by Tejaxun. His imprisonment has motivated a series of international demands and mobilizations within Guatemala, since he is considered a referent for the Mayan Indigenous movement.

Communities demand the release of Ramiro, who was unfairly arrested and sentenced to almost ten years in prison. Delegates from El Salvador, Uruguay and the Basque Country are participating in the mission.

Choc was imprisoned in February, 2008, on his way to the capital city of the country to work as a spokesperson of Q´eqchi communities, in the framework of a process of defense of the territories for native peoples.

Since he was arrested, several actions were carried out that put the life of the activist in danger, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Angelica, who lives in Ramiro Choc´s native town, said that her community had seen him grow up and that he is “a very good person”. She thanked the “international people” to “take into account the reality of these regions” and struggle for the release of Choc. The indigenous people of Livingstone, a neighbor community, are making other demands as well.

Angelica told Real World Radio how Ramiro´s parents are suffering for the imprisonment of their son. “We want him to go back to his family, to the community, we demand his release.”

Photo: www.prensaindigena.org.mx

(CC) 2009 Real World Radio

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