MiningWatch Canada is saddened by tragic news coming out of Guatemala today.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the sudden and tragic deaths of four tireless activists who have dedicated much time and energy to defending human rights. Ana Paula Hernández from the Fund for Global Human Rights and her colleague Sally O'Neill, who worked for many years from Honduras for Trocaire and most recently for the Fund, along with driver Daniel Tuc, well-known to human rights organizations in Guatemala, and Ana Velásquez, a part of the Consejo Wuxhtaj in Huehuetenango, died horribly in a car accident in Guatemala last night when their car went off a cliff in foggy conditions.
Ana Paula was vitally important to ensuring the success of work that MiningWatch has done with partners in Mexico on the Blackfire case, providing important funding to make both a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against the Mexican government and ensuring the first delegation from Mexico to Canada early last year for the presentation of a complaint to the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. She believed in the solidarity relationships and work that we have been doing with partners in Mexico and the region.
She also played a key role over the years in supporting individual organizations and networks in Mexico and all of Mesoamerica, particularly kickstarting M4 (the Mesoamerican Movement against the Mining Model) and supporting it consistently thereafter. She was also a big support for many of the organizations that form part of M4, REMA (the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining) and others. She was tremendously well regarded and trusted by colleagues and adored by friends who are shocked and deeply saddened by her death. She – indeed, all four who lost their lives last night – will be greatly missed.
The staff at MiningWatch Canada wish to express their condolences to the family members and colleagues of Daniel, Sally, Ana, and Ana Paula. Their energy, dedication and solidarity will be remembered fondly.