Juan Eduardo Caal Suram

Juan Eduardo Caal Suram     GUATAMALA      Age 42

Fisherman and Human Rights Defender for the indigenous Maya Q’eqechi’.


Cristobal Pop, Vicente Rax Pop, Eduardo Bin Poou, Juan Eduardo Caal Suram, Tomas Che Cucul and Marco Tulio Cuc are human rights defenders and members of the Gremial de Pescadores Artesanales – GPA (Artisanal Fishermen’s Guild) in El Estor, Izabal. They have been criminalised for denouncing the contamination of Lake Izabal by the nickel extraction company, CGN-PRONICO, after a protest against the company on May 27, 2017. They were repressed and criminalised, and one fish harvester, Carlos Maaz, was killed. The incidents on that day led to a long list of people with arrest warrants.

Juan has been in detention since 11th October 2017. The human rights defender is currently facing charges for “threats”, “incitement to commit crimes”, “illicit association”, “unlawful assembly and demonstrations”, “damages to private property”, and “illegal detention of another person”.

On 23 November 2017,  Puerto Barrios’ Penal Court on Drug-Related Activity and Environmental Crimes held a hearing on Juan Eduardo Caal Suram’s case. During the hearing, the defence asked the Judge to implement substitutive measures rather than preventive detention during the trial. The Judge allowed Juan Eduardo Caal Suram to follow his criminal procedure under house arrest provided that he is prohibited from leaving the country, attends scheduled court dates and pays bail of 10000 quetzales (approximately €1150). On 29 November 2017, through a solidarity collection process within the community, members of the GPA submitted the bail payment imposed on the human rights defender. He was transferred to his house on 1 December 2017.





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OIL ON CANVAS   150 cm x 110 cm