Solidarity towards murder of Bribri leader Sergio Rojas

San José, April 10th (CSF)-  After the murder of the indigenous Costa Rican Bribri leader Sergio Rojas; Mam women of Guatemala have been showing solidarity and support to indigenous women and original citizens of Costa Rica.   

Leader, Candelaría Hernández said: “In the name of Mujeres Mam para el Desarrollo (ASOMANDE), we want to communicate to our partners of Costa Rica that you are not alone, we feel what happened, and we want to encourage  you  to keep defending  the lands, and communal goods, and to be strengthened on the fight”. 

Coffee producer and member of The Federacion Comercializadora de Cafes Especiales de Guatemala (FECCEG), Hernández Gabriel,  pointed out that in her country there is persecution towards female and male leaders, that fight and defend territories and water resources. Female leaders have been incarcerated and killed. Three years ago in Huehuetenango, three partners from Barillas were murdered. They were killed for defending hydric resources.

Candelaría said that compared to the years of internal conflict, national violence in Guatemala has changed, it has aggravated.

The female leader said that Guatemala is a rich country, with plenty of resources. But, big companies are using the resources, stealing the lands from the farmers, forcing autochtonous communities out of their regions, and using the lands to plant African palm oil and pineapple.

Hernández said “The land is seen as a sacred mother. For  Mayan civilizations, the land is respected because the ground is not only used for business and production, it protects and sustains the everyday life”.

Unity for the Good Living

Hernández Gabriel mentioned that the production and commercialization of organic exportation coffee, through FECCEG; as well the promotion of food production in a polyculture style invigorates indigenous people.

We are in this because we want to preserve our bodies, territories and have a wholesome life. Our main idea is to eat healthy foods that we produce ourselves, in our lands. For this reason, we encourage women to plant their food, so that they can guarantee food safety. 

Candelaría Hernandez Gabriel is a MAM coffee producer of Organización Comal and part of the directive of The Federación Comercializadora de Cafes Especiales de Guatemala, (FECCEG).

Hernández shared the information on March during the coffee competition “Te van a conocer compa”, that took place in Quetzaltenango FECCEG installations. 

For 20 years, the leader of the Bribri indigenous community of Salitre regained 70% of their lands, that were stolen by non-indigenous people. On March 18th, Sergio Rojas was assassinated by 18 gunshots, that took his life, in his own house. The news caused commotion in  Costa Rica. The government of Costa Rica is now on the public scrutiny for not following secures norms established on April 3rd of 2015 by the  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; due to the dangerous situation that the community has been passing through. At this moment, nobody has been detained for the murder of Sergio Rojas.

Candelaria Hernández

Written by nataia Le

Translated by Debora Solis