A collective letter of support for Guatemalans seeking justice for genocide. The Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) and the Center for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH) have struggled for more than 10 years against impunity for the atrocities committed by the Guatemalan army during the country's 36 years of internal armed conflict. In June 2011 retired General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes was arrested and charged responsibility for acts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the military campaign in the Ixil Maya region in the early 1980s. His trial is expected to begin in September. Send a message of support to the AJR and CALDH; and to the Guatemalan Government urging that the legal case for genocide advance in accordance with national and international standards and respect for the rights of victims, survivors, and advocates.
We, the undersigned individuals, write to express our profound solidarity and support for the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) and the Center for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH) in their long campaign to achieve justice for the genocide committed in Guatemala in the 1980s.
The AJR and CALDH have carried legal cases on behalf of victims and survivors of genocide from the regions of Chimaltenango, Huehuetenango, Ixcán, Ixil, and Rabinal in the hope of achieving truth, justice, and the guarantee that such grave violations of human rights will never again occur in Guatemala.
We recognize the achievement of an historic advance in the struggle against impunity with the Guatemalan justice system's decision to try members of the military high command for genocide, crimes against humanity, and forced disappearances commited against the Maya Ixil people during the regime of General Efraín Ríos Montt. With this letter, we express our hope that the legal cases for genocide move forward effectively, in compliance with national and international law as well as the rights of the survivors of genocide.
We trust that the Guatemalan State will guarantee the constitutional and international rights of the AJR, CALDH and their members to carry out their activities in an environment of safety and respect for their fundamental human rights, both within the legal process and in their daily activities.
We will continue to accompany in spirit and in person the survivors, witnesses, and advocates who have made possible these historic advances for justice and human rights in Guatemala.
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