Activist Norma Cruz Denounces Death Threats
Prensa Libre, May 15, 2009
Activist Norma Cruz reported today that she has received death threats three times in recent days because of a case where a man is accused of murdering his partner.
Cruz, director of the Survivors' Foundation, which supports women's search for justice, said that strangers have called the Foundation to advise her that she will be silenced if they continue trying to bring Barrientos Jose Santos to justice. Santos was arrested on May 11th for the death of Francisco Ayala Pinto and Carlos Cruz Pineda in El Jicaro, El Progreso.
Such intimidation will not stop the foundation from bringing a lawsuit against Santos Barrientos, said Cruz, but demanded that the Public Prosecutor prosecute those who are threatening her.
Sources from the Ministry of Interior reported today that Cruz had already been provided with security.
"With or without me, the process can not be stopped," said the activist.
Norma Cruz, her son, and daughter receive protection under the government security program. The day after receiving the most recent death threats, Norma Cruz called a press conference and named the person responsible, Jose Santos Barrientos. Santos least expected this action, and has since stopped intimidating Cruz. Cruz' daughter, Claudia, who works at the Survivor's Foundation, said "he is now focused on gathering money to pay off the judges so that the case will stay in El Progreso, where he has his network of influence. He doesn't want the case to come to Guatemala City, where the Survivor's Foundation will work non-stop to put him in prison for his crimes. We must keep our guard up, be aware, be careful, and not allow them to keep us from our work," she added.
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