Brussels, 18 June 2021

Subject: Arrests of members of the Ecological Movement of Guatemala

Dear Mr. Alejandro Giammattei,

President of the Republic of Guatemala

We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, are writing to express our deep concern regarding the recent political attack against the members of the Ecological Movement of Guatemala.

On 1 March 2020, a notarized document was submitted to National Electoral Authority with the signatures of 553 persons supporting the registration of the “Environmental Political Party of Guatemala”. The prosecutor’s office claimed the document to be false and issued an arrest order for 15 individuals from the Green Party. Several of them were kept in preventive prison until recently, even though two of them were contracted with Covid-19. According to our information, the Sixth Criminal Court has decided to proceed with criminal charges against Juan Francisco Solozano Foppa, Anibal Argüello Mayen, José Miguel Quintanilla, Giovanni Fagioli and Roberto Cáceres.

We condemn the arrests of Green leaders of Guatemala and fear that this investigation is politically motivated as a retaliation against the anticorruption lawyers Juan Francisco Solozano Foppa and Anibal Arguell, who cracked down a corruption network in 2015 and are key witnesses in the corruption case against former president Otto Perez Molina. We are also concerned about the irregularities regarding due process and the violations of civil rights, such as the fact that the arrests were made in cars without license plates.

We call for a transparent and fair judicial process and urge you to respect Article 9 of the Escazú Agreement in which States commit to guarantee a safe environment, so that groups and organizations that promote human rights in environmental matters can act without receiving threats or intimidation.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Cavazzini, Member of the European Parliament
Diana Riba i Giner, Member of the European Parliament
Ernest Urtasun, Member of the European Parliament
Jordi Solé, Member of the European Parliament
Marie Toussaint, Member of the European Parliament
Tilly Metz, Member of the European Parliament

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