Guatemalan environmental defender Bernardo Caal released from prison | News

Environmental defender Bernardo Caal Xol regained his freedom on Thursday night, after spending four years in the Cobán prison for his fight against hydroelectric projects in the Guatemalan department of Alta Verapaz.


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At the time of his release, the Mayan Q’eqchi defender was accompanied by his lawyers and a delegation from his community with those who maintain the fight against the Oxec SA hydroelectric plants on the Cahabón River in Alta Verapaz.

“Today history is being written. Because once again we have shown the world how they criminalize leaders here in Guatemala,” he said.
Bernardo Caal Xol after regaining his freedom.

The lawyer for the environmental defender, Edgar De León, indicated that the judge in charge of the case decreed the release of Bernardo Caal Xol on March 23.

Bernardo Caal Xol was sentenced on November 9, 2018 to seven years in prison and four months in prison by the First Criminal Sentencing Court of Alta Verapaz as a result of his fight against a group of hydroelectric plants in that region in northern Guatemala.

The indigenous leader was convicted of crimes of illegal detention with aggravating circumstances and aggravated robbery, after being accused of acts of violence against employees of a company contracted in one of the hydroelectric projects.