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Benito María, the Frenchman who worked for Guatemala, is assassinated.

By EntreMundos 

Social and human rights organizations expressed their repudiation of the murder of Benoit Pierre Amedee María, known as “Benito”, who was a French citizen and lived in Guatemala for 20 years. The Association of Lawyers Nim Ajpu, Fundebase, Maya UkuxBe, Tzikin Filmmakers Association, SERJUS, as well as UDEFEGUA, the Office of the Human Rights Procurator and the French Embassy also spoke, expressing their dismay and calling for compliance of the law for the clarification of the case.

The event occurred when María was driving through San Antonio Ilotenango, Quiché department and was attacked by gunshots, receiving serious injuries that caused his death. His distinctive car, painted zebra, was stranded on the road. María, 60 years old, was director of the NGO Agronomists and Veterinaries Without Borders, and had worked with rural communities in different parts of Guatemala, between the departments of Quiché and Alta Verapaz, supporting different communities in the organization of agricultural projects, farmer markets and strengthening indigenous authorities. The conditions of his murder are very similar to those of Alberto Cucul, a ranger assassinated in lachuá lagoon.

The, issued a statement stating the following:

“For more than twenty years, Benito had been in charge of AVSF’s activities in Guatemala, responsible for implementing agricultural projects and defending the rights of farmers and indigenous communities, for the improvement of their living conditions”.

For his dedication and work, he was recognized not only by social organizations but by ancestral leaders and authorities. In addition, a number of social media users, including activists, human rights defenders, and members of indigenous communities, who had the opportunity to meet Benito personally classified the murder a cowardly act towards a person who had given so much to the poorest communities in the country. Both the Guatemalan government and the French government, through Tweets in their respective accounts, mourned the crime.

Cover photo: Twitter by Máximo Arnoldo Curruchich Cumez