Guatemalan Congress abstain from discussing the reform of the National Reconciliation Law

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Today we need your help now more than ever. Over the next few weeks,  the Congress of Guatemala could approve reforms to the National Reconciliation Law, which would free all those responsible for genocide, enforced disappearances and other crimes against humanity. Stories like Marco Antonio's would be eroded in the face of this attack against truth, justice and reconciliation. That is why we have united to demand and ask Congress not to discuss the law.

On October 6, 37 years ago, Guatemalan army soldiers knocked on the door of the Molina Theissen family, they lived in the zone 19 of Guatemala City, and their lives were about to change forever. They were looking for Emma, ​​who, after nine days of captivity, had managed to escape from a military base in Quetzaltenango. She was 21 years old at the time.

In retaliation for Emma's escape, the army took the youngest of the family, Marco Antonio, only 14 years old. His mother, doña Emma still remembers the moment when he was snatched from her arms and her screams of pain, as she ran behind the truck that was carrying him, wrapped in a bundle.

From that moment, she, her husband Carlos Molina, now deceased, and their daughters ─Lucrecia, Emma and María Eugenia─, started a struggle to find him. Determined and persistent, their case transcended and reached international courts, despite the repressive action of the State and the permanent silence of all the authorities.

The disappearance of Marco Antonio was presented at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Court of Human Rights), which determined that the State of Guatemala was responsible for these events and for the consequences it had for the family. Among other things, The Court ordered to investigate what happened and where Marco Antonio is, as well as demanded the creation of a genetic database, to collect any clue that could give his whereabouts.

In 2018, after 37 years of constant struggle from the Molina Theissen family, they achieved a historic breakthrough: the sentence of 4 high-ranking military officers for the disappearance of Marco Antonio and the abduction and physical, sexual and psychological torture against Emma.

However, in a new attempt to preserve impunity in Guatemala, the Congress of the Republic seeks to reform the National Reconciliation Law (LRN), which would grant a general amnesty to those who have been convicted of crimes such as forced disappearance, genocide, torture, rape, and sexual slavery.

With this Law, the four high-ranking military officers condemned for the forced disappearance of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, who was 14 years old when he was snatched from his home, and for illegal detention and acts of torture and rape against his sister Emma, ​​ could be released.

In the words of the Molina Theissen family: "This decision could take back the few advances achieved with much effort and sacrifice deployed for decades by those who only long for truth and justice for our loved ones, in our case, Marco Antonio and Emma."

The way to justice has taken more than three decades to the Molina Theissen family, and their struggle continues so that events such as those faced by Emma and Marco Antonio are not repeated. Together with them, we invite you to say #NotoAmnestyLaws and to raise your voice so that Guatemala does not give #OneStepBackwards in the guarantee of truth, justice, and non-repetition.

Sign the petition to demand that the Guatemalan Congress (@CongresoGuate) stop from discussing the reform of the National Reconciliation Law and guarantee the rights of the Molina Theissen family and thousands of victims of human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict.