Luis Marroquín was murdered on May 9 in San Luis Jilotepeque, Jalapa, Guatemala. He was the regional coordinator for Guatemala’s eastern region of the Committee for Campesino Development (Codeca), a national grassroots organization. The image above reads:
“Luis Arturo Marroquín, a Codeca human rights defender, was murdered. Onward to victory always, friend. People may die, but never their ideas.”
Below is a press release circulated by Codeca on the day of the murder:
We hold the government of Guatemala and its criminal allies responsible for the murder of Luis Arturo Marroquín, our colleague and a defender of human rights.
Yesterday, May 9, at 9am, Luis was murdered by cowards, shot repeatedly in the back. According to information from people in the area of the crime, Luis Marroquín was followed by a black Toyota Hilux when he left Jalapa in a public bus. He was traveling to a town assembly in San Luis Jilotepeque. When he arrived in San Luis Jilotepeque’s central square, he got off the bus to make copies in a print shop. He was murdered there by two men with covered faces who fled in the black vehicle.
Luis Arturo Marroquín was 47. He was a human rights defender and a member of Codeca’s national leadership team as Codeca’s coordinator for eastern Guatemala. He was dedicated to the defense of human rights, the struggle for access to land and the defense of cultural territory, the struggle for labor rights, and the nationalization of privatized goods and services. This activist is survived by five grieving children.[Read more about Codeca here: Biofuels and climate change: Mayan farmers are fighting back; Repression against Codeca: The criminalization of organization.]
After this cowardly attack:
Codeca publicly holds President Jimmy Morales responsible, because in a speech he gave last week, on May 2, he tried to foment hate and resentment toward Codeca. Instead of seeking national unity in his speech, he aimed to incite animosity and divide the people.
These attacks against human rights activists cause us pain. But they do not intimidate us. We will fight harder to achieve our dreams and the dreams of the many murdered human rights defenders.
This murder is the result of the hate-filled discourse of the national government and a corrupt, plundering, murderous system.
We are the people, we are Codeca, we will never back down. We strive for the foundation of a Plurinational State through a popular, plurinational, participatory process.