The fight for justice in Guatemala...
I visited Guatemala in 2006 to interview Fredy Peccerelli, executive
director of the Guatemalan Foundation of Forensic Anthropology, for an article
for The Guardian's G2.
Peccerelli leads a team of scientists tasked with exhuming
and identifying victims of massacres, extrajudicial killings and
disappearances that happened during the nation's civil war that took the lives of 200,000 people.
It's an onerous task for his team and Fredy contacted me this
week about a death threat he's received – one that came on the back of
the start of a landmark trial a few weeks ago in Guatemala, the first one on "forced disappearances" from the civil war era.
The threat read –
"Ok you b******s, your day has come. You are being watched and we will kill
you. Freddy, we're going to kill you, we're watching Omar at university, his
degree will be of no use to him, his happiness as a father won't last long.
We're going to rape his wife and we'll send her in pieces to the FAFG. F*****g
revolutionaries. Your security is of no use, we're watching you all, Freddy
your day will come soon and it'll be the turn of the others in the Institution
afterwards, you'll never get to testify you f*****g son of a bitch. The list
is long, but we'll kill them all, your family will be first, Fredy son of a
The trial on a "forced disappearance" began in March. Felipe Cusanero, a former farmer and member of civilian paramilitary forces active during the war,
appeared in court to face charges that he was responsible for six
disappearances between November 1982 and October 1984.
A few years ago Fredy relocated to Brighton for a year after receiving death threats. If his team's work stops then future trials/justice/human rights
in Guatemala will be at risk.
Please send messages of support to Fredy at the following email address. Thanks.
Thanks for reading this. www.billybriggs.co.uk
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