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Condemning the assassination of our compañero, artist and social animator Victor Leiva

Posted on February 11, 2011 | 1 Comment

Youth and Human Rights Organizations express their anguish at the murder of Victor Aroldo Leiva Borrayo on February 2, 2011:

The life and projects of Víctor Antonio Leiva “Mono” were brought to an abrupt end when on 2nd of February he was murdered in the Historical Centre of Guatemala City where in recent years he walked and shared so much of himself. Víctor, only 24 years of age, was a young artist who was a member of Colectivo Caja Lúdica for several years. As facilitator and activist dedicated to community arts, his work brought him the appreciation and love of his working partners. This killing adds to the 3000+ (over three thousand) crimes perpetrated during the year against youth including amongst the victims young artists, spiritual leaders, community leaders, human rights activists, free thinkers and free creators. The victims are those who due to their way of thinking, dressing and expressing themselves are stigmatized by the authorities and society. Their cases are forgotten by the authorities who make no attempt to solve the case or bring to justice those responsible. Even members of those institutions are part of the “organized crime” therefore a vast number of crimes are treated as revenge between delinquent groups; the investigations then, are disallowed. As a result cases are abandoned with total impunity. The characteristics of this case replicate the modus operandi used by the illegal and clandestine apparatus linked to the security system which, with total impunity, act against youth; extra-judiciary  acts form part of the genocide directed at Guatemalan youth nowadays. Unidentified vehicles, large calibre weapons, more than one person involved, delayed action by the authorities who show at the crime scene are some of the elements that characterize this and many other events of this kind. Death walks its painful blow for the country that tragically suffers the loss of its youth with impotence facing silence, injustice and impunity.

WE EXPRESS: Our concern for the lack of safety that is experienced in Guatemala as part of daily life threatening the short lives of children, youth, women and men, Maya and Mestizos from all social backgrounds without any serious or permanent actions that involve investigation or legal persecution towards the material and intellectual authors of these felonies, and complying with them. Our solidarity with the family of Victor Aroldo Leiva Borrayo as well as with all those relatives of so many victims of violence in Guatemala.

THEREFORE WE DEMAND: (1) From the Public Ministry to investigate the murder of Victor Aroldo Leiva Borrayo without prejudices or speculations to clarify the fact until those responsible are found. (2) From the present General Attorney, Claudia Paz y Paz, to create an extraordinary office to work on crimes against youth with an extra-judiciary executions’ investigation unit in order to investigate the repeated pattern in the killing of young people, a vast number of them organized or working on organizational processes, members of cultural and human rights organizations. (3) From the Government to adopt the necessary measures as to guarantee and protect the lives and activities of the Guatemalan people as well as those of the defenders of Human Rights whose vulnerability is increasing due to the rampant violence. (4) From the violent and intolerant to put their guns down, to stop the bullets from being fired. Here there’s only youth creating, opening common spaces, recovering trust and happiness, planting love and peace – symbols for life.

Victor Aroldo Leiva Borrayo – They will never silence your voice! Hasta siempre compañero y amigo! You will always be in our hearts.

The murder of Victor, begs the question: What is going on in Guatemala?  It was only a few months ago that Leonardo Lisandro Guarcax Gonzalez, promoter and defender of indigenous Maya culture, was found dead after he was abducted by unknown assailants on 25 August 2010. See the full story here.

Spanish translation:

Condenando el asesinato de nuestro compañero; el artista y animador social Víctor Leiva

Organizaciones de jóvenes y de derechos humanos expresan su angustia por el asesinato de Víctor Aroldo Leiva Borrayo el 2 de febrero de 2011:

La vida y los proyectos de Víctor Antonio Leiva “Mono”, fueron llevados a un abrupto final cuando el 2 de febrero fue asesinado en el Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de Guatemala. Víctor, con tan sólo 24 años de edad, era un joven artista miembro del Colectivo Caja Lúdica por varios años. Como facilitador y activista dedicado a las artes comunitarias, su trabajo le trajo el reconocimiento y el amor de sus compañeros de trabajo de toda la comunidad.

Este asesinato se suma a los más de tres mil crímenes perpetrados en contra de la juventud este año; entre las víctimas encontramos artistas, líderes espirituales, líderes comunitarios, activistas de derechos humanos, libre pensadores y creadores. Las víctimas son aquellas que, por su forma de pensar,  de vestir y de  expresarse son estigmatizados por las autoridades y la sociedad.

Estos casos son olvidados por las autoridades ,las cuales generalmente no hacen ningún esfuerzo por esclarecerlos ni muestran ningún interés de llevar ante la justicia a los responsables de estos crímenes. De hecho, también se presenta la situación en que  algunos miembros de estas instituciones policiales hacen también parte de la delincuencia organizada y organizaciones clandestinas ilegales lo que causa  que un gran número de asesinatos cometidos se presentan falsamente como actos de venganza cometidos entre grupos de delincuentes para encubrir las acciones de estos agentes. Todos estos factores dan como resultado una impunidad casi total en los casos de asesinatos con motivaciones políticas.

Las características de este caso se asemejan a muchas otras forma de violación de derechos humanos en este país. El “modus operandi” utilizado por organizaciones consisten en vehículos no identificados, armas de grueso calibre, más de una persona involucrada y el retraso en la acción de las autoridades que se muestran en la escena del crimen son algunos de los elementos que caracterizan a este y muchos otros casos sin resolver en contra de los jóvenes guatemaltecos. La muerte se extiende en este país que sufre la trágica pérdida de su juventud y que no tiene más alternativas que enfrentarse a la injusticia de la  muerte  con impotencia y  silencio.

Comments

One Response to “Condemning the assassination of our compañero, artist and social animator Victor Leiva”

  1. Creative Resistance Fund» Blog Archive » Precarity & Intersectionality
    February 23rd, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

    […] slain school teacher & LGBT activist David Kato. The very next post was about the death of a 24 year old artist, Victor Leiva, killed in Guatemala City. For the work of freeDimensional & the Creative Resistance Fund, there was a common condition […]

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