April 21, 2024

Press Freedom


Guatemala December 2, 2005

H.E. Oscar Jose Rafael Berger
Office of the President
Palacio Nacional, Nivel 2
6 Calle entre 6 y 7 Avenida, Zona 1
Guatemala City 01001
Republic of Guatemala

Your Excellency:

We write to express strong concern over the series of invasions at the Asociacion de Mujeres Ixqik (IxqikWomen’s Association).

This group, as you know, provides assistance and legal counsel to rape victims. This is not a popular cause, and the three burglaries of the premises, in which files were clearly searched and personal information taken, are troubling. It is worth noting that the invasions took place on days when the court was due to hear closing arguments in the controversial case of a mentally handicapped 50-year-old rape victim.

The Overseas Press Club of America (OPC) takes an interest in this case because we fear that freedom of expression – which your government says it values – is gravely compromised when a group that says unpopular things finds itself burglarized three times in a matter of days, with indifferent response from the authorities.

We respectfully ask that the public prosecutors make a thorough investigation into the intrusions at AMI, and do its utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice. We hope the local authorities will signal their disapproval of these events – and show determination to uphold the rule of law – by providing protection to the Asociacion de Mujeres Ixqik.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.


Respectfully yours,
Cait Murphy
Kevin McDermott
Freedom of the Press Committee



Marco Antonio Cortez

Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Journalists

And Trade Unionists

7a. Avenida 11-20, Zona 1

Ciudad de Guatemala

Republic of Guatemala

Fax: (011.502.2) 20-68-73


Hugo Leonel Maul Figueroa


Corte Suprema de Justicia

61 Calle 7-70, Zona 1

Ciudad de Guatemala

Republic of Guatemala

Fax: (011.502.2) 30-03-90


Edgardio Daniel Barreda Valenzuela

Corte Suprema de Justicia

61 Calle 7-70, Zona 1

Ciudad de Guatemala

Republic of Guatemala

Fax: (011.502.2) 30-66-26


Guillermo Castillo

Ambassador of Guatemala to the U.S.A.

Embassy of the Republic of Guatemala

2220 R Street, NW

Washington , DC 20008

Fax: (202) 745-1908


Ambassador Jorge Skinner-Klee Arenales

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Guatemala

to the United Nations

57 Park Avenue

New York , NY 10016

Fax: (212) 685-8741


James Derham

U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala

Embassy of the United States of America

Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10

Guatemala City




2a Calle 1-42, Zona 1

Ciudad de Guatemala


Fax: (011.502.2) 21-25-21