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People Commemorate The Guatemalan Genocide No One Talks About

In 2013, former Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt was convicted for crimes against humanity and genocide he committed 30 years ago against the indigenous Maya Ixil people.

Credit: @inspiractionorg / Instagram

The 89-year-old was sentenced to 80 years in prison, but three years after the trial, that verdict is still up in the air.

DOS AÑOS DE UNA SENTENCIA HISTÓRICA – No olvidamos, aprendemos y trasladamos el mensaje. elPelon #sihubogenocidio #Sentenciaporgenocidio #Guatemala #genocidio #RiosMontt #RenunciaYa #justicia

A photo posted by elPelon Oscar Rivas (@elpelonr2) on

The Constitutional Court, pressured by the elite and the military who were afraid of their fate after Ríos Montt’s sentence, threw the verdict out and set a retrial. Human rights lawyers and two of the judges criticized the move as an absurd intervention.


Absurd to say the least, because, during the trial, victims described horrific crimes committed during Ríos Montt’s rule.

#Repost @opensocietyfoundations with @repostapp. ・・・ Massacre survivor Sebastian Iboy Osorio, 50, steers a boat on the Chixoy reservoir along with wife Magdalena Alvarax, 48, and daughters Adaly (left), 5 and Paulina, 7. Iboy Osorio, originally from the Achi Mayan community of Rio Negro, survived the massacres carried out by the Guatemalan army and civil patrolmen from neighboring Xococ against residents of Rio Negro in 1981 and 1982. Nearly 400 community members of Rio Negro were killed in four separate massacres due to the community's resistance to give up their lands and make way for the Chixoy hydroelectric project. Rio Negro, Rabinal, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala. Hello, this is James Rodríguez (@mimundo_org), Mexican-US documentary photographer based in Guatemala since 2006. This week I am honored to share images via the @opensocietyfoundations Instagram feed from my long term project on Life in Post-War Guatemala. After a brutal 36-year civil war (1960-1996) that left over 250,000 victims, the tiny Central American nation, with an Indigenous Mayan population of over 50% and one of the most violent and economically polarized societies in the western hemisphere, still reels from the harrowing conflict. All photographs have been taken with a phone. Iboy Osorio returned to Rio Negro in the early 1990s along with two other survivors and have currently grown into a community of 24 homes. Electric service was finally established in August 2015, but each house was charged 2,150 Quetzales (US $280), something they believed should be waived considering their original town was flooded to make way for a hydroelectric project. Most of the residents of Rio Negro live below poverty levels making less that US $2 per day. #opensociety #humanrights #documentary #photojournalism #postwar #guatemala #everydayguatemala #everydaylatinamerica #everydayeverywhere #genocide #ixil #achi #riosmontt #bn #bw #achi #maya #mayan #chixoy #hydro #hydroelectric #hidroelectrica #embalse #dam #reservoir #electricity #electric #electricidad

A photo posted by James Rodríguez / MiMundo.org (@mimundo_org) on

Credit: @mimundo_orga / Instagram

Men, women and children testified, describing how the women were gang-raped and how their family members were torn to pieces right in front of them. How they were forced to leave their home and escape into the jungle for years seeking safety.


In her essay for the Huffington Post, human rights activist Jo-Marie Burt said, “During Ríos Montt’s rule, the Guatemalan state’s official policy was to exterminate its indigenous population in the name of national security.” For this, Ríos Montt was to go to prison.

Credit: @jomaburt / Twitter

The verdict was a victory for the indigenous people because, as Burt says, it was “the first time a high-ranking military official was being sanctioned for grave violations of human rights in Guatemala. The first time ever a former head of state was held accountable for genocide in a domestic court of law.”


The retrial has been rescheduled many times, sometimes due to Ríos Montt’s dementia. It has also changed from a public trial to one behind doors. This, however, isn’t discouraging Guatemalans. In their eyes, the first verdict still stands, and they will continue to fight impunity.

Credit: @nobelwomen / Instagram

As Juan Francisco Soto, executive director of the Center for Legal Action for Human Rights, says, “What is surprising is that we were able to bring the case to court and see it through. We proved in a court of law that there was a genocide in Guatemala.” Even though the verdict was overturned by dirty legal moves, “For us,” he says, “the sentence is still valid.”

Get more details on this genocide trial here


READ: Real Life Risks Guatemala Immigrants Take to Make It to America

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Authorities Finally File Charges Against Teen Who Killed Monique Muñoz, Her Family Hopes He’s Tried As an Adult

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Authorities Finally File Charges Against Teen Who Killed Monique Muñoz, Her Family Hopes He’s Tried As an Adult

Credit: chulothelabel/Instagram
UPDATED: April 8th, 2021

Finally, Monique Muñoz’s family is getting closer to seeing justice. After over a month of rallying, gathering, and mourning, Muñoz’s family is finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced that they had officially filed charges against the 17-year-old responsible for the deadly crash that killed Muñoz.

The charges against the unnamed teen came over a month after the fatal crash on February 17th. Because the teen is a juvenile, authorities are not releasing any more information detailing the specifics of the charges. Authorities originally arrested the teen on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

Per ABC News, the teen’s arraignment is set for April 23rd. Up until this point, authorities never contacted Munoz’s family directly. The family was angry and frustrated at authorities for keeping them in the dark.

While it is progress that Los Angeles’s DA has finally charged the teen, the family wishes that authorities would try the 17-year-old as an adult.

“You’re a 17-year-old, driving an adult car, acting like an adult…you should be tried as an adult,” Munoz’s stepfather, Isaac Cardona, said to Good Morning America.

“[The DA] is really lenient on certain crimes, certain criminals, especially juveniles,” said Cardona to ABC 7. “And I’m like, you act like an adult you get treated like one.”

The unnamed teen was driving a Lamborghini Urus when he crashed into Munoz, who was making a left turn.

Photo via LAPD West Traffic

The Lamborghini Urus retails for $218,000. It can go 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. Some experts estimate that the juvenile was going up to double the 35 mph speed limit in order to incur as much damage as he did.

Here’s to hoping that Los Angeles authorities will do the right thing in enacting justice for Monique Munoz and her family.

ORIGINAL BELOW: March 18th, 2021

Over the weekend, family and friends of Monique Muñoz, as well as members of the Los Angeles community, gathered to mourn the life of a young woman taking from this planet too soon.

The gathering of people became a memorial parade, with supporters showing up in classic cars or on foot. People were holding up signs that read: “Justice for Monique Muñoz” and “Olympic Blvd is NOT a race track”.

Muñoz’s family say they will gather at the site of Monique Muñoz’s death every weekend until the family sees justice.

As background, a 17-year-old driver killed 32-year-old Monique Muñoz while he was speeding in a Lamborghini in the Los Angeles streets. The teen was the son of a Beverly Hills millionaire James Khuri who gifted him the Lamborghini for his birthday.

In the aftermath of Muñoz’s death, James Khuri flooded his social media pages with insensitive pictures of himself looking happy and carefree while Muñoz’s family was grieving. After receiving a flood of negative comments condemning his insensitive behavior, Khuri simply turned off his comments

District Attorney George Gascón has not confirmed that he has brought charges against the teen. Muñoz’s family worried that Khuri would sweep Monique’s death “under the rug”.

While her family waited for justice, some savvy internet believed that James Khuri hired PR and marketing teams to bury negative articles about his son.

But Khuri didn’t get away with his attempts to control the press around his son’s involvement in M’s death. The internet rallied around Muñoz’s family, and soon the hashtag #JusticeForMoniqueMuñoz was trending.

Now, Muñoz’s family is focused on one goal. They want justice for their daughter.

“We have purpose. We have a direction. We have this responsibility to Monique to give her a voice, to speak for her, to give her justice and to just show her that we’re here for her,” said Stephanie Crespin, the victim’s cousin to ABC 7.

District Attorney George Gascón released the following statement to Inside Edition: “Monique’s death is a giant loss for her family, our community, and for all of us as Angelenos. This case was recently presented to our office and is under review. Juvenile court proceedings, records, and case files are confidential pursuant to Welfare & Institutions Code section 827. As such, we are unable to provide further information at this time.”

As for the belated apology that James Khuri wrote on his Instagram at the height of the backlash, Muñoz’s family says they see right through it.

“I’ve seen the interview of the father trying to apologize and give me his sympathy, but no, that’s too fake,” Carol Cardona told L.A. Taco. “He has yet to say anything to me, to us. If he were really sorry, he would have reached out when it all happened.”

And although Khuri’s lawyer previously claimed that Muñoz’s family was in the process of coming to a financial settlement with the Khuris, Carol Cardona put that rumor to rest.

Muñoz’s mother said that the family was not in the process of settling financially with the Khuri family.

“My daughter was killed, she was my everything, she was my best friend, and now she’s gone. Instead of planning her future wedding, I had to plan a funeral for her,” she said. “So no, no amount of money is going to bring my baby back.”

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One Town’s Residents Made A Citizen’s Arrest Of Their Mayor For Alleged Corruption And Shoddy Construction

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One Town’s Residents Made A Citizen’s Arrest Of Their Mayor For Alleged Corruption And Shoddy Construction

Residents of a village in Chiapas, Mexico have become so fed up with their mayor that they decided to do something about it. Eschewing long, bureaucratic legal processes to hold him accountable, residents of a southern Chiapas town decided to hold their mayor accountable for what they said was a public works project so poorly done that it was useless.

A mayor in Chiapas was tied to a tree by his own residents for a job done badly.

Residents from eleven neighborhoods of the Chiapas town Comalapa held their mayor accountable for his inaction on a public works project. According to reports, the residents arrested Mayor Óscar Ramírez Aguilar to a tree in a public area to expose him to the rest of the town. They told the newspaper Diario de Chiapas, that they wanted to expose him for the “bad public servant” that he is and that he shouldn’t be reelected.

The townspeople say the municipal water storage cistern — whose installation they say was a campaign promise — is in such poor condition that it does not comply with water safety requirements. It currently has no water, they said, due to leaks, and the residents accuse the government of merely patching the tank — badly — to stop them.

In a video on social media, residents showed how the concrete patch job is already chipping away and easily crumbles.

“He promised us that this would be a public works project worthy of Comalapa residents, but [this tank is] a farce; the water system doesn’t work well. It’s an old problem that he should have attended to properly and should have been a priority during his administration because he came to see us in our homes with this promise, and now he doesn’t want to live up to it,” a resident told the newspaper.

But the mayor is denying what happened in a social media post.

The mayor though has a totally different version of events. After he was released, Ramírez posted a video on his official social media account to counter the residents’ version of the story.

“They did not tie me up,” he claimed. “The meeting was with 11 representatives of Comalapa neighborhoods in order to agree upon details regarding a major public project, the introduction of potable water.”

However, photographs clearly showed the mayor standing before a tree with his hands behind his back.

Three years ago, another local official suffered a similar fate after allegedly failing to deliver promised funds. He was bound to a post in the the central plaza of Comalapa.

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