The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) condemns with much grief and sadness the kidnapping and murder of Emilia Quan Stacckmann, a human rights defender, sociologist and researcher from the Centro de Estudios y Documentación de la Frontera Occidental de Guatemala (CEDFOG). After being kidnapped by a group of heavily armed men on December 7, 2010, along with the driver Víctor López, Emilia Quan's lifeless body was found in the community of Cruz Canelish in the department of Huehuetenango.
This murder is yet another example of the citizen insecurity and violence that ravages Guatemala, as well as the risks faced by human rights defenders in the country. We request that the government carry out a timely, impartial and exhaustive investigation into these acts in order to identify and sanction those responsible for this murder, not overlooking any possible hypothesis of what occurred. We also urge the government to guarantee the security of social and human rights organizations such as CEDFOG who are dramatically affected by the violence in Guatemala.
We express our sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of Emilia Quan and our solidarity with the members of CEDFOG and all Guatemalan colleagues who work in favor of human rights in the country.