Dominga Ramos, member of CODECA, killed in Suchitepéquez

Dominga Ramos Saloj, 54, was a woman who belonged to CODECA, the Campesino Development Committee (Comité de Desarrollo Campesino). Dominga lived in the Las Delicias community of Santo Domingo Suchitepéquez. She was shot and killed by an unknown man yesterday, March 5, at approximately 5:30 in the afternoon in her home. She was the wife of Miguel Ixcal Pérez, member of CODECA’s national political team.

According to what has been published by Radio Victoria, the assassin arrived at Dominga’s house yesterday at around 5:30 pm, wearing a white T-shirt and cap. He also had tattoos. According to witnesses, he turned toward her and said, “I have a delivery for you,” took out his weapon from his waist and shot her in the head. He then ran away on a motorcycle.

COCDECA has been facing challenges not only for condemning issues faced by Indigenous Peoples, but also for resisting in the face of the assassinations of its members. In 2019, 10 of its leaders were killed, and 7 were killed in 2018, which shows that the rate of crimes committed against its members is increasing. The cases are at a standstill and a greater effort has not been made to search for the criminals who have committed such crimes.

This campesina organization has pushed for the transformation of Guatemala’s energy industry. At the root of it all, it has gained strong enemies, fighting in risky and vulnerable conditions. The crimes committed against its members have been direct and made clear that the goal is the eradication of said organization. However, they organized themselves to form a political party, the MLP, which managed to win a seat in Congress: that of Vicenta Jerónimo, who has had conflicts with various representatives for demanding the renunciation of benefits such as food, telephone and internet service, paid with the taxes of the Guatemalan people.

Like CODECA, other social organizations that put pressure on businesses and governments have faced severe retaliation during the last few years, especially regarding subjects such as dams, mining, and large monoculture plantations. EntreMundos, as a media source that promotes the defense of human rights, is in solidarity with these organizations, and we promise to continue supporting the dissemination of complaints and demands of civil society related to the protection of its rights.

Photo: Funeral of Dominga Ramos, from Radio Victoria