Francisco Villagr?n de Le?n
Francisco Villagr?n de Le?n
Francisco Villagr?n de Le?n

Mr. Francisco Villagr?n de Le?n

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative

Avenue de France

23 1202 Geneva

Tel: +41 22 734 55 73 ,

+41 22 733 08 50

Fax: +41 22 733 14 29

Email:[email protected]

Your Excellency,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights activist and Freelance journalist.

I would like to draw your attention to the following case.

On 5 April 2015, at approximately 10.00 a.m., human rights defender Mr Tel?sforo Odilio Pivaral Gonz?lez was assassinated in the village of Las Nuces, San Rafael Las Flores, in the department of San Rosa, Guatemala.

Tel?sforo Odilio Pivaral Gonz?lez was an active member of the Comit? en Defensa de la Vida y de la Paz de San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa ? CDVPSRLF-SR (Committee in Defense of Life and Peace in San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa), a community organisation which works towards the guarantee of human rights within the San Rafael Las Flores region. Through his work with CDVPSRLF-SR, the human rights defender worked to coordinate local resistance to the ?El Escobal? mining project. The project, primarily concerned with silver extraction, is led by the Canadian extraction company, Tahoe Resource Inc., and their Guatemalan partner, Minera San Rafael, S.A. It has been opposed by local communities since development began in 2011.

The assassination of Tel?sforo Odilio Pivaral Gonz?lez occurred after the human rights defender left his home in the village of El Volcancito, within San Rafael Las Flores, in order to reach the village of Las Nueces. He was fired upon by unknown assailants as he awaited public transport on a rural road in the district, and suffered wounds to the skull, face and neck. He died immediately from his wounds.

I strongly condemn the assassination of Tel?sforo Odilio Pivaral Gonz?lez, which it believes to be a direct result of his work in defense of human rights within the district of San Rafael Las Flores.

I urge the authorities in Guatemala to:

1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the assassination of Tel?sforo Odilio Pivaral Gonz?lez, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Guatemala are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

I respectfully remind you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 6 (b): ?Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (b) As provided for in human rights and other applicable international instruments, freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms,? and to Article 12 (2): ?The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.?

Please inform me of any actions that may be taken with regard to the above case.

Yours sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Activist & ?Freelance Journalist

Twitter @wnicholasgomes

Email: [email protected]

www.facebook.com/williamnicholasgomes

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