Guatemala: Acquittal of Indigenous Land Rights Activist
The presence of a monitor in the courtroom during the trial of 33-year-old indigenous land rights advocate Abelino Chub in Guatemala likely contributed to his acquittal after two years in detention, according to Chub’s lawyer. He was charged with aggravated usurpation and arson for allegedly burning trees and fields on a plantation run by a large banana and palm company. TrialWatch monitored the criminal proceedings against Chub in 2019 through its partners, the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights, and gave the proceedings an F: TrialWatch’s lowest grade.
The TrialWatch Fairness Report found that “Chub’s unjustified pretrial detention constituted a gross violation of human rights and there are indicia that his prosecution was motivated by improper considerations.”
The damage done by Mr. Chub’s prolonged, arbitrary detention cannot be understated.