Above: The check given to communities says “Ayuda humanitaria por inocentes del 4 de octubre de 2012 en la Cumbre de Alaska,” or “Humanitarian Aid for the Innocents of October 4, 2012 in the Alaska.”
On that day, approximately 3,000 peaceful protestors — mostly K’iche’ Maya from the Totonicapan — gathered to protest rising electricity prices. The army shot and killed 6 unarmed protestors and wounded others. At first, OPM’s representative claimed that the army didn’t even have guns, only admitting the truth after cellphone pictures proved the lie (2nd photo from top). Since then, President Pérez Molina once said that he might be willing to apologize for the massacre, but he chose not to.
The President [of Guatemala] did not apologize, or give explanations, and also said that offering an explanation was unlikely. Otto Perez Molina, at a ceremony Thursday at the National Palace of Culture, also neglected to use the word “victims” to describe the [non-violent] protestors who were wounded and lying on the ground in the wake of military action against the 48 cantones of Totonicapán on October 4, 2012, at km 169 of the Pan-American Highway. Instead, the president offered aid: Q6,550,000 as compensation.
The compensation, which is equivalent to a little less than $85,000 (US), will be split between 6 widows and the 35 survivors who were wounded that day. If none of the money were shared with the 35 survivors, the widows would receive at most $14,100 each as ‘compensation’ for the loss of their husbands, and no recognition — much less an apology — of the fact that the Guatemalan army shot and killed these peaceful protestors in broad daylight.
If you read Spanish, full article by Oswaldo J. Hernández | photos by Sandra Sebastián are at Plaza Pública.