More than a Hundred Organizations Demand Justice for Assassination of Xinka Leader Noé Gómez Barrera

A sign commemorating Noé Gómez Barrera’s life says, “Martyr of the social struggle: Human Rights Defender Noé Gómez Barrera. We will follow the example of his struggle.”

Following the murder of Xinka human and environmental rights defender, Noé Gómez Barrera, more than a hundred organizations issued the following letter:

On Saturday October 28, 2023, Xinka community leader, 69-year old Noé Gómez Barrera was murdered in the department of Jutiapa, Guatemala. Mr. Noé, much loved and respected by the community, was a member of the ancestral authorities of the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala, and since 2002 fought for Xinka rights in Jutiapa against the company Renewable Energy Alternative (Alternativa de Energía Renovable in Spanish). In recent weeks, he participated actively in the indefinite National Strike for democracy against the efforts of the “Covenant of the Corrupt” to remain in power following the election of Bernardo Arévalo whose inauguration is scheduled for January 14, 2024 and who has committed to end corruption in the country.  

This criminal act takes place in the context of violence, threats and heightened security risks for territory defenders in Guatemala, including specifically in Xinka territory of Jutiapa, Santa Rosa and Jalapa. During recent years, the Xinka people have maintained a broad and ongoing struggle to defend their health, water, forests, lands, and territory against the threat of megaprojects including the Renewable Energy Alternative company, as well as the Escobal mine owned by Canadian mining company Pan American Silver, which is currently subject to a consultation process. For their commitment to the defense of collective rights, the Xinka people have faced intimidation, defamation, criminalization, attacks, and assassinations, such as what has just once again tragically taken place.  

In September of this year, U.S. Congresswoman Cori Bush and 12 other members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to the U.S. Department of State in which they expressed profound concern for the security of the Xinka people. The Representatives called for the State Department to play an active role to ensure an effective response to any further act of repression against the Xinka people. Also, since mid October, the Ancestral Indigenous Authorities of Guatemala have requested precautionary measures from the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) given the risks they face for exercising their rights.   

Following the brutal assassination of Mr. Noé, the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala has called on the Guatemalan Public Prosecutors Office to take action and to investigate this crime, stating: “Stop the criminalization and violence against Xinka leaders and human rights defenders.”

We express our solidarity with the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala and the human rights defenders who are part of the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa, who exercise and work for the full enjoyment and respect for their fundamental collective and individual rights. 

We urge: 

  • Guatemalan authorities to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for this atrocious act of violence. 
  • The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to immediately grant precautionary measures to protect the Ancestral Authorities that are leading the National Strike in Guatemala.
  • The U.S. Department of State in coordination with its Embassy in Guatemala to advocate of the immediate investigation into this assassination and for those responsible to be brought to justice; for the prompt implementation of the precautionary measures in favor of the Ancestral Indigenous Authorities at risk for exercising their right to peaceful protest, as well as for the five Xinka leaders who requested precautionary measures from the IACHR in 2021; as well as to publicly denounce the violence against Ancestral Indigenous Authorities and reaffirm the importance of protections for peaceful demonstration and the rights to self-determination and free, prior and informed consent. 
  • The government of Canada in coordination with its Embassy in Guatemala to pay special attention to the risks that the Ancestral Indigenous Authorities face, particularly the Xinka People who are peacefully demonstrating in defense of life and democracy. We also call on Canada to continue to publicly express concern for the situation in Guatemala in order to ensure respect for democratic governance. 



Latin America

Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (AIDA)

Grupo Regional para una Transición Energética Justa en América Latina y el Caribe (GRTEJ ALC)


Asamblea no a la mina Esquel

H.I.J.O.S. Córdoba 

H.I.J.O.S. La Matanza

H.I.J.O.S. Regional Necochea

H.I.J.O.S. La Plata

H.I.J.O.S. Bahía Blanca

H.I.J.O.S. Escobar Campana Zárate

H.I.J.O.S  Concordia

H.I.J.O.S. Ciudad de Buenos Aires


H.I.J.O.S. Alemania




Environmental Defender Law Center

Instituto Cordilheira


Associates Sisters of Providence

Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network (ARSN)

Amigos de la Tierra

Maritimes- Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network

BC Casa/Cafe Justicia

Comité para los Derechos Humanos en América Latina (CDHAL)

Canadian Union of Public Employees


Decolonized International Solidarity Network DISN Tkaronto- Iximulew

Education in Action

Rights Action

Friends of the Earth Canada

Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les territoires de l’extractivisme (GRITE)

Plataforma Canada Guatemaltecxs Exiliadxs por Terrorismo de Estado


Montreal Elders for Environmental Justice

Plataforma Guatemaltecos-Guatemaltecas Exiliados por Terrorismo de Estado

Todos por Guatemala Montréal

KAIROS Halifax 

MiningWatch Canadá

Mining Justice Alliance

Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN)

Oxfam Canada

Saint Mary’s University

Solidaridad sin fronteras Sherbrooke

GRAN (Grandmothers Advocacy Network)

SLAM (Solidarité Laurentides Amérique centrale)


Colectivo y semillero Pacha Paqta

Semillero y Colectivo de Investigación, Acción Pedagógica y Abogacía Popular (Universidad Industrial de Santander)

Grupo de Investigación en Derechos Colectivos y Ambientales (GIDCA)


Mujeres por el Maipo


Cabildo por las Mujeres de Cuenca-Ecuador

Yasunidxs Cuenca

Yasunidos Guapondelig


Salva la Selva

United States 

Alliance for Democracy

Colectivo Guatemalteco, Los Angeles CA

Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)

Cooperation Operation 

Center for Human Rights and Environment (CHRE)

Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)

Environmental Defender Law Center


Due Process of Law Foundation

Institute for Policy Studies – Global Economy Program

International Rivers

New Hampshire/Vermont Guatemala Accompaniment Project

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

Nicaragua Center for Community Action

Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC)

McCain Institute

Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum

St. Louis Interfaith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA)

Feminist Task Force

Loretto Link

McCain Institute

North American Congress on Latin America

Unitarian Universalist Society of West Burke

GuateMaya LA Mujeres en Resistencia

Resistencia Comunitaria

Religious Community of Sisters

Quechua Collective of New York

Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator

Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)

Maryknoll Sisters

Latin America Working Group (LAWG)

Oxfam America

Santa Elena Project of Accompaniment

Servicio Internacional para los Derechos Humanos (ISHR)


Collectif Guatemala



Asociación Colectivo Noj

Asociación Procrece 

American Friends Service Committee

Concejo Maya Komon Ajq’ijab’

Comité de Unidad Campesina (CUC)

Parroquia Sangre de Cristo

Red Nacional por la Defensa de la Soberanía Alimentaria REDSAG

H.I.J.O.S. Guatemala

Latin America Solidarity Committee—Milwaukee

Trinity Lutheran church

Protection International Mesoamérica

María Tecun

Observatorio de Industrias Extractivas




H.I.J.O.S. Holanda


Natural Resource Women Platform

Alliance for Rural Democracy (ARD)


Espacio de Encuentro de las Culturas Originarias

ARTICLE 19 México and Central América Office

Otros Mundos Chiapas


Bios Iguana A.C.

Red Mexicana de Afectadas/os por la Minería (REMA)

Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusco (FPDS)

H.I.J.O.S. México


H.I.J.X.S de Perú



London Mining Network

South Africa

The Gaia Foundation


International Platform against Impunity

KM207 Guatemala-Suiza


AfricanDefenders (Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network)

Oil Refinery Residents Association-ORRA

Tasha Research Institute Africa