The following is a translation of a Prensa Comunitaria article originally published in Spanish.

Xinka Leader and Human Rights Defender Assassinated

Xinka leader and human rights & environmental defender, Noé Gómez Barrera. Photo credit: courtesy

The Xinka People condemned the murder of Noé Gómez Barrera, leader and human rights defender, and demanded that authorities investigate the incident. They likewise called for an end “to criminalization and violence against Xinka leaders and human rights defenders.”

By: Prensa Comunitaria

The Xinka Parliament of Guatemala reported that Noé Gómez Barrera…was murdered this Saturday, October 28 in Jutiapa. Gómez Barrera was a community leader and human rights defender.

The Xinka People and other local residents reported that Gómez Barrera was very beloved person in his town of El Caulote, located in the department of Jutiapa.

According to local media reports, as a Xinka leader, Gómez Barrera organized the residents who participated in peaceful demonstrations on local roadways during [Guatemala’s ongoing] Indefinite National Strike.

The Jutiapa Volunteer Rescue Team and the Municipal Fire Department reported that the deceased suffered several gunshot wounds, and that though they tried to resuscitate him, their efforts were in vain.

In a statement, the Xinka People condemned the murder of the Xinka leader and human rights defender, and demanded that authorities investigate the incident. They likewise called for an end “to criminalization and violence against Xinka leaders and human rights defenders.”

Indigenous peoples steadfast in the struggle for democracy

A National Strike began on October 2, with a series of peaceful demonstrations on highways. The strike was the result of popular rejection of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP)’s actions against the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) [and the will of the people].

Thousands of citizens, collectives and social organizations have joined social movements in demanding the resignation of the Attorney General, María Consuelo Porras; the head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI), Rafael Curruchiche; regional prosecutor, Cinthia Monterroso; and Judge Fredy Orellana.

BTS Stands with Xinka Parliament and People

BTS stands in solidarity with Noé Gómez Barrera’s loved ones and community, as well as long-time partner, the Xinka Parliament. We condemn his assassination and join in the Xinka people’s calls for a speedy and thorough investigation of this terrible act of violence, as well as an end to all violence and criminalization against Indigenous and campesino human rights defenders.