Bernardo Caal Xol lost his freedom over two years ago. He is unjustly in prison for protecting the land and rivers in the department of Alta Verapaz in northern Guatemala.
In 2015, Bernardo, a member of the Mayan Q’eqchi community, organized a peaceful opposition against the construction of two hydroelectric projects which endangered the sacred Cahabón River. Bernardo, among other leaders, denounced irregularities in the project, including the lack of prior and informed consultation with indigenous peoples who inhabit the area.
In retaliation, Bernardo suffered smear campaigns and stigmatization in the press, television, through flyers, and on social media. This quickly turned into a criminal investigation accusing Bernardo of alleged acts of violence.
In November 2018, the Cobán court sentenced him to 7 years and 4 months in prison despite the lack of evidence to support the accusations against him.
Now a prisoner of conscience, Bernardo is facing years in prison when he should be free to continue to protect nature. You can help us change his story.
Sign this petition asking the Attorney General in Guatemala to take the steps needed to release Bernardo and to investigate those who handled Bernardo’s case leading to his unjust arrest.
Changing Bernardo’s story is changing our future.