Rabble has an interesting note on a piece of news your humble scribe missed last week (with thanks to reader JS for the headsup). It deserves more eyeballs because unusually for an article written in English on Guatemala it’s factual and accurate, so here’s the link for your use. Meanwhile, here’s how it starts:
How is it that when community leaders are wrongfully targeted in the aftermath of violence connected with Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine they spend months in jail, while the company’s former head of security who faces criminal charges for his alleged role in the violence last April is first given house arrest and then allowed to avoid prison by arguing that he is sick?
That’s what happened last week.
Former head of security Alberto Rotondo has been under house arrest since May 2013, when he was linked to an April shooting that left six injured outside Tahoe Resources’ mine in southeastern Guatemala. On January 22, he was declared in contempt of court for failure to attend a hearing. As a result, the substitute measures that allowed him to be under house arrest were lifted and an arrest warrant issued. But instead of going to jail, on January 23, he called in sick and went to the hospital instead where he remains under arrest.
In sharp contrast to the leniency shown Rotondo, when the Guatemalan government responded to last April’s violence by declaring a state of siege in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores in May, five community members were immediately jailed. Two were released on bail after a couple of months and three others spent six miserable months in prison. Finally, they were released without charge given lack of evidence that they had done anything wrong.