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MILTARY KILLS TWO CAMPESINOS AND WOUNDS 10; POLICE KIDNAP THREE
by Yakira Teitel (translated from Spanish)
Thursday Mar 17th, 2005 11:27 AM
After another day of protests against the ratification of CAFTA today, March 15, in Colotenango, Huehuetenango a group of campesinos and teachers were violently repressed by the military, so far leaving two dead and ten wounded.
MILTARY KILLS TWO CAMPESINOS AND WOUNDS 10; POLICE KIDNAP THREE.

After another day of protests against the ratification of CAFTA today, March 15, in Colotenango, Huehuetenango a group of campesinos and teachers were violently repressed by the military, so far leaving two dead and ten wounded.

AS OF THIS MOMENT, 10 HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED AND 2 KILLED.

Three of the wounded who were in serious condition in the hospital were taken out by the National Civil Police (PNC) with the pretext of transferring them to the Institute of Social Security (IGSS). But it has been confirmed that the compañeros have not actually been taken to this assistance center. Source: MICSP.

All of this is happening in response to the major national strike called by various social and popular organizations that are opposed to the ratification of the trade accords with the United States.

The protests and the National Strike in opposition to CAFTA in Guatemala will continue today (Wednesday).

On Tuesday, the level of repression escalated in Colotenango, resulting in two deaths. Reports confirm that Juan Lopez was brutally beaten by police and was then killed by a bullet to the head.

The administration of President Berger maintains its position against the protestors, citing the loss of 70 million Quetzales or the equivalent of almost $10 million dollars in exports and imports as a result of the roadblocks and national strike on Monday.

According to Prensa Libre, the demands of the organizations are the following:
[] The guarantee of the right to assemble and protest.
[] That the Army be immediately removed from the streets.
[] That the National Civil Police and the Army be prohibited to intimidate protestors.
[] The immediate dismissal of Carlos Vielmann, the Minister of Governance, and Erwin Sperisen, Director of the National Civil Police.
[] The creation of a special committee, made up the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH), the rector of the University of San Carlos, and Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada, to investigate the violent acts.
[] That the ratification of CAFTA not be published in the official records (necessary to make the ratification official).
[] That the law of mineral concessions not be approved.
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