May 20, 2013
The Guatemala Solidarity Project strongly condemns the arrest of our good friend Alberto Choc Xe, a community leader from the indigenous q’eqchi’ village Saquimo Setana. Choc was arrested on Thursday, May 16.
We call on immediate solidarity from the international community. We know that other arrested leaders of Saquimo Setana have faced beatings, hunger, false bribes and other forms of abuse and tricks used to pressure them to admit to crimes they didn’t commit and to implicate other local and national leaders in these crimes.
For background on the conflict in Saquimo Setana please refer to our earlier videos, two of which can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXoFw87lw0Y (an overview of the conflict at Saquimo) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN1pbixFMkc (which focuses on the case of another political prisoner from Saquimo).
We fear for Alberto’s immediate safety and we believe that the small action of calling the Guatemalan Consulate in Chicago can help protect Alberto in the coming hours and days. Please call them at 312-540-0781 or 312-540-0808 to voice your extreme concern for the safety of Alberto Choc Xe of Saquimo Setana, arrested on May 16 in Canguanic, part of Coban, Alta Verapaz, and currently being held in Coban. Please ask for the immediate release of Alberto, as well as of Pablo Sacrab, another leader from Saquimo who has been in prison since 2010.
Please also consider making a contribution to the GSP. All contributions go to our partners in Guatemala. Because of a budget shortfall we are not currently able to provide financial assistance to arrested Saquimo leaders. In the past we have been able to help purchase medical supplies, food and other important support. Contributions can be made tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor UPAVIM by writing a check to the “UPAVIM Community Development Foundation” and sending to UPAVIM, c/o Greg Norman, 713 W. Garfield, Temple, TX, 76501. Or donate on paypal at http://upavim.pursuantgroup.net/english/donate.htm (Click on “Make a Donation,” then write GSP in the description space)