Oscar Humberto Duarte Paíz, member of the board of the Asociación Integral
para el Desarollo de Ciudad Quetzal (ASIDECQ), Association for the Development of Quetzal City, was kidnapped on 24 May 2006 by six men carrying machine guns and wearing bullet-proof vests. Other members of the organization have been intimidated, reports Amnesty International, since the organization attempted to mediate between police and the local community. The human rights watchdog believes the kidnapped man’s life is at risk, and his colleagues are in grave danger. René Guzmán Quiñónez, David Alarcón, and José Cuellar, also ASIDECQ board members, have all reported being intimidated.
ASIDECQ is active in the local development of Quetzal City, a small impoverished neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital, Guatemala City. The organization has been involved in mediation between local people and the police as well as protests against the police’s alleged use of excessive force. In addition, many of the organization’s members are involved in seeking justice for those who “disappeared” during Guatemala’s internal armed conflict.
A letter concern addressed to Guatemala’s Attorney General was written by James P. Tate on 21 June 2006.