Attacked and threatened for defending her people’s ancestral lands from logging in Guatemala, Aura Lolita Chávez now fears for her life.

In June, at least 10 armed men attacked Lolita and a number of other women, after they handed a potentially illegal logging truck over to the authorities.

These women have a right to protect their lands, and they must be able to carry out their peaceful work in safety and without fear.

Please, call on the authorities to investigate the attack and protect Lolita and her friends.

Lolita is the Indigenous leader of the K’iche People’s Council (CPK), who work tirelessly to protect their traditional lands from mining, logging and hydroelectric interests.

Indigenous women in Guatemala who speak out against powerful companies face enormous risks in the course of their work and significant challenges in seeking justice when their rights are violated.

But you can make a difference – just last year seven Guatemalan environmental defenders facing charges for non-violent protests against hydroelectric projects were released after global pressure from people like you.

We have to act for these women too, and quickly, before they face further attacks.

Call on Guatemala to implement protection measures for Lolita and other CPK members now.

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Dear Minister of Interior and Dear Attorney General,

I am writing to you with deep concern for the safety of Aura Lolita Chávez and other members of the  K’iche People’s Council (CPK). They currently fear for their lives following an attack by armed gunmen.

The armed men arrived shortly after the CPK attempted to hand over to government authorities what they believed to be an illegal logging truck on their ancestral lands.

I call on the Attorney General’s Office to promptly investigate the June 7 incidents reported by Aura Lolita Chávez and the CPK as well as their allegations of unidentified armed men in the K’iche people’s territory.

Furthermore, I call on the Ministry of the Interior to promptly implement protection measures to guarantee the physical integrity and safety of Aura Lolita Chávez and others CPK members in consultation and agreement with them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

Yours sincerely,

Cc President of the Commision on Human Rights in Guatemala
Cc Ambassador to Guatemala in Australia

— Spanish —

Estimados Ministro del Interior y Fiscal General,

Les escribo con profunda preocupación por la seguridad de Aura Lolita Chávez y otros miembros del Consejo de Pueblos K’iche (CPK). Actualmente, ellos temen por sus vidas tras haber sufrido un ataque por hombres armados.

Estos hombres armados llegaron poco después de que el CPK intentó entregar a las autoridades gubernamentales lo que consideraba un camión utilizado para la tala ilegal en sus territorios ancestrales.

Pido a la Oficina del Fiscal General que investigue inmediatamente los incidentes del 7 de junio, reportados por Aura Lolita Chávez y el CPK, al igual que sus acusaciones sobre los hombres armados presentes en el territorio de los pueblos K’iche.

Además, pido al Ministro del Interior que implemente inmediatamente medidas de protección para garantizar la integridad física y la seguridad de Aura Lolita Chávez y otros miembros del CPK en consulta y acuerdo con ellos.

Gracias por tomarse el tiempo de leer este mensaje.

Sinceramente,

Cc Presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Guatemala
Cc Embajador de Guatemala en Australia

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