Target: President James Morales of Guatemala
Goal: Ensure that Impunity Watch and its employees receive protection
The offices of Impunity Watch, an organization that provides support to families of victims of human rights abuses and other atrocities, were ransacked by three unidentified men. The assailants briefly took an employee hostage, and demanded files relating to a case that Impunity Watch is involved with.
The case in question is the 1981 disappearance of a teenager during Guatemala’s civil war. Authorities have arrested and charged four members of the military in connection with the disappearance. The first hearings in the case are due in the coming days. Members of the victim’s family have been harassed online.
Two hundred thousand people died or disappeared during Guatemala’s civil war, with the vast majority of victims being from indigenous Mayan communities. The Guatemalan military has been implicated in many of these killings. Most of the perpetrators have not been brought to justice. Recently, however, there have been some high level prosecutions for crimes against humanity.
The threat of prosecution has contributed to a climate of harassment and threats that has left many feeling unsafe. It is critical that organizations such as Impunity Watch receive the protection they need to continue to fight for justice. Sign our petition and demand that President James Morales of Guatemala ensures that Impunity Watch and its employees receive the protection they need.
Dear President Morales
I was disturbed to hear of the attack and burglary of Impunity Watch offices. While the assailants did not find what they were looking for, their actions speak to a disturbing trend toward intimidation to pervert the course of justice. I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. There can be no justice when the powerful can use intimidation with impunity.
I would also urge you to ensure that Impunity Watch and its employees receive protection, so as to deter future attacks. If the government will not protect them, it will send the message that it is permissible to harass members of human rights organizations. This can only escalate the climate of harassment and threats that surrounds cases involving the military.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: David Amsler