MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Organization

AUGUST 29, 2007
11:57 AM

CONTACT: MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Organization 
Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator (212) 627-0444;

MADRE Condemns Assassination of Guatemalan Political Candidate

GUATEMALA/NEW YORK - August 29 - MADRE, an international women's human rights organization, today categorically condemned the recent assassination of Clara Luz Lopez, a candidate for local council in the upcoming September 9 Guatemalan elections. Lopez was a member of Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum's political party, Encuentro por Guatemala. MADRE supports the work of the Rigoberta Menchu Tum Organization, working for the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Lopez was shot while driving home from campaigning in the municipality of Casillas, in the southeast of Guatemala. Her murder tragically demonstrates the continuing surge of political violence, sparked after the start of campaigning in May. Ms. Menchu has stated that this is "a clear message for our candidates and for us."

MADRE denounces the use of violence to terrorize human rights activists and political advocates and to silence dissident voices. MADRE further demands that the government of Guatemala investigate this killing fully and ensure accountability for such politically motivated violence.

MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with community-based women's organizations worldwide to address issues of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began in 1983, MADRE has delivered over 22 million dollars worth of support to community-based women's organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States.