It’s with great sadness that we confirm the death of our colleague Benoît Maria, in charge of AVSF in Guatemala. Benoît has been slackly murdered by armed individuals in Santa Cruz del Quiché area, on the 10th of august 2020, while he was driving to his place of work in the indigenous communities.
For more than 20 years, Benoît was in charge of AVSF’s activities in Guatemala, and some of you know his commitment and his historical work for the defence of peasants and indigenous communities rights, conducted with our Guatemalan partners.
In this tragic moment, all our thoughts are with his wife and their two children, all his family in France and all his close relatives in Guatemala and France. This murder upsets us all, of course all our Guatemalan colleagues but also all of us in France and through the world. We share this sorrow.
With Benito’s death, we’re losing a professional of solidarity, an activist of the peasant and indigenous cause, but most of all a friend for many of us.
We strongly condemn this murder. In touch with Guatemalan authorities, French Embassy and the family, we’ll make everything we can so that this despicable crime may be solved and that justice is quickly done.
We plan to file a complaint in Guatemala and France soon. For the time being, we have decided to temporarily suspend the activities of our teams in Guatemala, pending more information from the ongoing investigations into the causes of this tragedy.