Shots fired at home of Mayan human rights defender Angelica Choc

Originally posted by YLNM Member Rights Action. 18/09/2016.

Just after midnight, Friday September 16, 2016, shots were fired at the home of Angelica Choc, a Mayan Q’eqchi’ human rights leader and community defender in El Estor, department of Izabal, Guatemala, while she slept inside with her youngest son and an adopted daughter.

image001 (Angelica with her son, at grave of Adolfo Ich, May 2016.)

 Angelica is the widow of Adolfo Ich, a teacher and community leader murdered September 27, 2009, by Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals’ then head of security Mynor Padilla, a former colonel in the Guatemalan military.

Since 2010, Angelica has been a plaintiff – along with 12 other Mayan Q’eqchi’ victims of mining related repression – in the high profile civil lawsuits in Canada against Hudbay Minerals and its co-defendant CGN (Guatemalan Nickel Company).  Since March 2015, Angelica has been the lead victim-accuser (along with the Public Prosecutor and CICIG, the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala) in a high profile criminal trial in Guatemala against Mynor Padilla for the murder of Adolfo Ich and the shooting-paralyzing of German Chub that same day, by Padilla and other Hudbay/CGN security guards under his command.

Immediately after the shooting, Angelica called other members of her family who came and stayed with her and the children.  In the morning, when they came out of the house, they found caliber 12 shotgun casings (according to police, who came later) and 22 calibre rifle bullet casings.  Her house has at least four documented bullet impact holes in the outside wall.

Angelica and her family have denounced this attack by unidentified assailants to the police and public prosecutor’s office.  Angelica has warned German Chub (involved in both the criminal trial and civil lawsuits) of what happened.

Given the midnight nature of the attack, and the state of impunity and repression in Guatemala (often carried out by police and/or military forces), it is unlikely the perpetrators will be identified and detained.

Given the nature of repression and impunity in Guatemala, Rights Action believes this intimidating attack was very likely linked to Angelica’s work and struggle for justice both in Guatemala and Canada for justice concerning the mining related murder of her husband, Adolfo Ich.

Rights Action is extremely concerned for the safety of Angelica Choc and her family and German Chub and his family.

Emergency Funds Needs

Rights Action is sending emergency funds to the families of Angelica and German (who lives nearby) so they can take extra measures of family safety, and so that Angelica and her family can travel to Morales and Guatemala City to denounce this attack before the proper authorities and the media. 

To donate, make check payable to “Rights Action” and mail to:

  • U.S.:  Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
  • Canada:  (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8

Credit-Card Donations

 

More information

Grahame Russell, grahame@rightsaction.org, 416-807-4436

 

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