From Oxfam – 9/2/11
Oxfam partners in Guatemala have recently received death threats – and we need your voice, now, to ensure that these threats don’t come to fruition.
As an Oxfam supporter, you already know that the work we do affects people’s lives daily – but the work is often dangerous, and sometimes when our partners speak up in defense of poor communities, they are putting their lives on the line.
Two of Oxfam’s outspoken partners at CALAS (Centre for Environmental, Social and Legal Action) who work daily on mining and oil issues, received death threats three days ago – and we need to get the public eye on this case immediately, so that they have a level of protection.
Violence and tensions in Guatemala have intensified in the run-up to the country’s presidential elections on September 11. Our partners at CALAS have been working to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and to expose corruption in a natural gas project.
The Executive Director of CALAS, Yuri Melini, was seriously wounded in 2008 during an assassination attempt.
Large-scale mining operations have been the source of protest, violence, and human rights violations since the early 2000s. Oxfam partner CALAS has sought to promote informed debate about the costs and benefits of oil and mining in the country and to promote greater respect for the rights of indigenous communities – and now they are under threat for their stand.
Here at Oxfam, we are in awe of the strong and steadfast stand taken by these human rights activists – but now, more than ever, they need our support. “I won’t be intimidated by these threats,” Melini said in a statement. “I will continue the struggle to defend human rights and protect Guatemala’s environment.”
Please don’t let their work be in vain.
Tell the President of Guatemala, we will not stand by while our partners are threatened.
Judy Beals, Campaigns Director