Murder with impunity

Guatemala: Not ready for ‘never Again’

Nearly all of Guatemala’s political murders, massacres and disappearances have been double violations of human rights: first the act of violence, then the impunity for the murderers. And it appears that the April 26 assassination of Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Gerardi Conedera will be no exception.

My friend Ronalth Ochaeta, legal director of the Archbishop’s Human Rights Office in Guatemala, had asked me to be present at the cathedral in Guatemala City on April 24 for the release of the church’s report on human rights violations during more than three decades of bloody civil war. The report was titled Guatemala: Nunca Más--“Guate­mala: Never Again.”

“I’d be honored,” I said. “But why?”

“It could be dangerous,” Roni answered. “The report is very strong. We need an international presence to discourage violence.”


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