Orlando Joaquin Blanco Lapola, director of Centro Internacional de Investigaciones en Derechos Humanos (“CIIDH”) received abusive telephone calls threatening him with death on January 16 and 30 and again on February 2, 2004. CIIDH is a Guatemalan NGO founded in 1993 to conduct human rights research and support the work of grassroots organizations in this field. CIIDH work includes compiling information about human rights violations committed in Guatemala during the past thirty-five years so this data can be used by social scientists, politicians, Guatemalan and international organizations, and any Guatemalan citizen seeking to understand the historical truth and past and present crimes. In 2003 Sr. Blanco was involved in the development of a commission investigating illegal armed groups. Sr. Blanco was formerly the Director of the National Coordinator for Human Rights in Guatemala. The death threats are believed to be in reprisal for Sr. Blanco’s human rights work and in particular his work in identifying human rights violations.
LRWC letter written by Heather D. Neun, Barrister and Solicitor and LRWC member on Wednesday, February 04, 2004.