Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ramiro Choc Trial Begins

The trial of Ramiro Choc opened began in the Criminal Sentencing Court in Puerto Barrios, Izabal.

Choc is accused of aggravated theft, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery, He is accused of leading a group of squatters last year, who seized and occupied land and caused damage to the flora and fauna. The case was covered in the news internationally in March 2008.

On the first day of the trial, the court will hear witnesses for the prosecution, including four officers of the Tourist Police, two private guards, and the administrator of the estate that was allegedly illegally occupied by Choc.

The defense will present witnesses on March 16.

After his capture, Choc's supporters staged violent protests in Rio Dulce, Izabal to demand his release. On March 13, 2008 they took four Belgian tourists hostage: Eric Stosstris, 62, his wife Jenny, 59, Gabriel and Mary Paul Van Huysse, 64 and 62, respectively, and Guatemalans Mauricio Dubón and Leider Estrada.


Dan said...

You've got this the wrong way round shuttersparks. Those 'squatters' are campesinos who owned this land long before the colonists and then their oligarquical replacements took it from them and forced them to live a hand-to-mout existence on roadsides and marginal lands. It may have been protected land, but how many of those oligarchs have their mansions on the same land? Land protection in Guatemala is unfortunately not a 'cut and dry' issue of conservation and happy-smiley tourism. This man is a human rights activist on trumped-up charges. PLEASE don't believe what you read in Prensa Libre etc. owned by those same oligarchs.

Free Ramiro Choc

Daniel Carey

ShutterSparks / KW2P said...

I am not expressing opinions on this blog. What you see here are mainstream news stories gleaned from the 50 or so newswires that I monitor and translate if necessary. Stories come from all over Latin America and even sources in the Far East, Communist China, and Cuba pertaining to Guatemala.

My opinions are expressed over on my personal blog

I have lived in this area for many years and know very well how things are here, speak some Kekchi as well. The issues are complex.

The story posted reports facts as a news story should. There is not a single word in the story above that is not true. It is you who are expressing an opinion and you are welcome to do so, but do not accuse me of having something the "wrong way around" when I did not express an opinion at all.

What you are bringing up is the "why". The story only covers what happened in Puerto Barrios on that day, not the why or any history. It does not intend to. It was simply reporting what happened in Puerto Barrios on that day and there is no opinion involved, just what actually happened on that day.

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