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Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 00:23:19 -0600 (CST)
From: ghrc-usa@ghrc-usa.org
Subject: Urgent Action International Mayan League/USA
Article: 82934
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.24104.19991126211612@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

Urgent Action

From the Guatemalan Maya League, 26 November 1999

To our dear friends in solidarity with the people of Guatemala, the International Mayan League/USA wants to communicate the following.

Last Friday, the 12th of November, the Electoral Commission of the Department of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, annulled the November 7th mayoral election results of that city which our Maya brother, Rigoberto Queme Chay of the Xel-ju Civic Committee won. It was alleged that the Committee bought votes and badly managed the counting of votes.

The president of the Electoral Commission, Carolina Rodriguez de Rebordelo, illegally broke into the house of one of the committee member. According to source of the Xel-ju, senora Rodriguez was not accompanied by a competent judge nor an authorized public official nor did she have a legal warrant for such an entry. Therefore, the truth of the complaint she presented is doubtful. She made herself both judge and complainant. Yet she said her authority was to be believed, and therefore she had the power to annul the elections and to cancel the oversight of the civic committee. In this she was acting much like the Tribunal of Special Juridiction set up during the de facto regime of General Rios Montt, She neither notified any members of the committee concerning the supposed anomalies, nor did she cite the alleged irregularity, nor did she give the committee an opportunity respond to accusation. She merely made a and anulled the election results.

Other sources say that Senora Carolina Rodriguez was accompanied on this occasion by the sister of the mayoral candidate of the Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) party, Labrenti Cabrera. The FRG is a party with ultra-rightist and racist tendencies, headed by the present secretary general, Efrain Rios Montt, whose presidential candidate, Alfonso Portillo, has the history of having assassinated two Mexican citizens in Guerrero, Mexico, 17 years ago.

The triumph of Rigoberto Queme Chay was the fruit of great sacrifices on the part of many people. He did not have the economic means and backing that the other parties, like the PAN and the FERG, had. According to Queme Chay himself, he received many verbal attacks and was the victim of a dirty electoral campaing because the opposition was willing to go to any lengths to win the election. Nevertheless, the people of Quetzaltenango have chosen the direction in which they want to go in reelecting Rigoberto Queme Chay. He clearly is an example of someone working on behalf of the marginal sectors of that city.

For the people of Guatemala the triuph of the Xel-Ju Civic Committee is a triumph for the Maya Nation, because he is the only Mayan who won in a large city. Quetzaltenango is the second largest of the country next to Guatemala City, the capital.

If you touch back on a little of history, the Mayas of Guatemala have suffered since our lands were invaded by the Spanish in 1524; and during the civil war of the past 36 years we have received the hardest blows from the political genocide of scorching the land, killing our children, the youth, women and the elderly. Now we have a hope to realize our dreams within a democracy which is the fruit of the 1996 Peace Accord by participating in the political life of our country; and immediately we are calumniated, scorned, and blocked at every turn. When will we see finally a little peace and tranquility?

The very procurator of Human Rights of Guatemala and the Mission for Verification of the Implementation of the Peace Accord of the United Nations for Guatemala, MINUGUA, affirmed that they did not observe any interference with the election results in Quetzaltenango. It then remains clear that the problem set before the Xel-Ju Civic Committee and its reelected candidate is one of outright RACISM. Their intolerance imposes caprices upon our people. 55% of the population of Quetzaltenango is descended from the ancient Maya civilization; 45% is Ladina. How can a Kiche brother be kept from governing the city? y We ask you, our friends, for your moral support on behalf of the struggle of our people in Quetzaltenango by writing to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala asking them not to annul those elections and to respect the choice of the people of Quetzaltenango, as the same Tribunal has done with other municipalities: resolving the problems of the people of Quetzaltenango with impartiality and equity.

We ask your help to disseminate this information of this campaing to other groups/organization to which you many find it convenient.

Tribunal Supremo electoral
6a. Avenida 0-32, Zona 2
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Telphones: 011-502-230-0788/ 230-0380/ 230-0384

Please send copies of your letter to the Committee Civico Xel-Ju and write letters to the Guatemalan Maya League at the addresses listed below.

Or write letters to the newspapers.

Many thanks your loving solidarity.

Comite Civico Xel-Ju
11 Calle 0-05 Zona 1, Ciudad Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, C.A.
Tel-Fax 011-502- 765-3843 E.mail <Munixela@quetzal.net>

Liga Maya Guatemala
14 Avenida 8-92 Zona 3, Ciudad Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, C.A.
Tel-Fax 011-502- 767-6755 E.mai <lmaya@mixmail.com>

Periodico Prensa Libre
13 Calle 9-31 Zona 1, Guatemala Ciudad
Fax 011-502- 251-8768 - E.mail <nacional@prensalibre.com.gt>

Periodico Siglo Veintiuno
7a. Avenida 11-63 Zona 9, Guatemala Ciudad
Fax 011-502- 331-9145/ 331-9148 - E.mail <buzon@siglo xxi.com>

Avenida las Americas 9-50 Zona 3, Supercom Delco
Ciudad Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, C.A.
E.mail <elquetzalteco@infovia.com.gt>

22 Avenida 3-53 Zona 3. Edificio Galeria Roiz,
Ciudad Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, C.A.
Telefonos: 011-502-765-3183/ 765-3185 - E.mail <rlectores@xela.net.gt>