December 26, 2019
Rape as political repression in Guatemala:
From the Hudbay Minerals lawsuits in Canada to a deportation hearing in Boston of a Guatemalan war criminal
- Double Your Impact: Matching donor (up to $23,000), until December 31, 2019
In Canada, we await a court ruling about a ‘pleadings amendment’ motion in the ‘Lote 8 gang-rape’ lawsuit against Hudbay Minerals (one of the three Hudbay lawsuits). In 2007, roving packs of company security guards, Guatemalan police and military gang-raped 11 Maya Q’eqchi’ villagers as part of an illegal forced eviction of the village of Lote 8, to make way for the mining interests of Skye Resources (soon after amalgamated with Hudbay Minerals).
Similarly, during the worst years of Guatemala’s U.S.-backed genocide and state repression in the 1970s and 80s, rape was used as a tool of the regime’s repression against its own mainly Mayan population.
Jesus Tecu Osorio (Rio Negro), Paulina Ixpata Alvarado (Xesiguan) and Brenda María Xitumul Román, from the Maya Achi región of Rabinal, Guatemala, along with investigators from Homeland Security War Crimes Investigations, and activist supporters from Rights Action, NISGUA and the Guatemala Human Rights Commission.
On December 20, 2019, Maya Achi human rights and justice defenders Jesus Tecu Osorio, Paulina Ixpata Alvarado (Xesiguan) and Brenda María Xitumul Román were in Boston to attend a ‘sentencing hearing’ for Francisco Cuxum Alvarado, a war criminal located living illegally in the Boston area. He is now detained, awaiting deportation to Guatemala, where he will face war crimes charges related to massacres and sexual violence that he participated in.
Chixoy Dam massacres
Some of the massacres and sexual violence that Francisco Cuxum participated in were committed as part of Guatemalan regime violence to illegally evict dozens of Mayan Achi villages from the Chixoy river basin, to make way for the massive investment project of the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. Both Banks profited from their investments in this murderous project. Neither Bank was ever held accountable, or paid reparations for the destruction and killing (and rapes) that were done on their behalf.
*** / ***
Guatemalan War Criminal Found Living ‘Unremarkable Life’ in Waltham
Francisco Cuxum Alvarado has been accused of playing a role in a massacre and mass sexual assault in his native Guatemala in the early 1980s
By Caroline Connolly, December 20, 2019, https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/guatemalan-war-criminal-found-living-unremarkable-life-in-waltham/2051846/?fbclid=IwAR0meFlJ2gLlPltcV3Nq9ODYTNpYv0a9iD0OPkEJch-XazDXrwZiv0xPwDI
A Guatemalan man wanted in connection with a massacre in his home country was found living and working in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Francisco Cuxum Alvarado appeared in federal court in Boston on Friday for illegally reentering the United States. However, federal prosecutors claim his previous crimes are far worse.
"Women and children were tortured, raped and murdered," said Michael Ronayne, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations.
Cuxum Alvarado has been accused of playing a role in a massacre and mass sexual assault in Guatemala between 1980 and 1982. According to Ronayne, agents began looking for him after they were notified that he was wanted for crimes against humanity in the country. In April, they traced him to Waltham, where court filings state he was working in landscaping.
"He was there and living a quiet, uneventful, unremarkable life," Ronayne explained. "These people have committed these crimes overseas and now they're attempting to utilize the U.S. as a safe haven."
The agency has long been working to track down war criminals who have come to the U.S. to escape charges in their own countries. Several years ago, they established the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center to bring increased attention to the problem.
In the case of Cuxum Alvarado, investigators said he admitted to joining a civil militia that aided the Guatemalan government in removing Maya Achi people from the Rio Negro area in the country, which resulted in hundreds of murders.
During his sentencing hearing in court, Judge Indira Talwani said she was not here to assess whether he committed the atrocities prosecutors have alleged. However, she said it was clear he had illegally returned to the U.S. after being removed in 2004.
Because Cuxum Alvarado had already spent several months behind bars, Talwani gave him credit for time served. But rather than allow him to go free, she said he would be turned over to the U.S. Marshal's Office and then likely detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.
"It's very important, if somebody is here in the U.S., that we bring them to justice," said Ronayne. "And hopefully, give the victims at least some small level of satisfaction."
*** / ***
(Canada & U.S.)
- Matching donor (up to $23,000) deadline, December 31, 2019
To support the work, struggle and projects of Rights Action's community defender partner groups in Guatemala and Honduras, m
- U.S.: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
- Canada: (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8