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Human rights activist's house attacked by armed men

(CERIGUA/IFEX) - On 30 October 2008 at 8:00 p.m. (local time), several heavily armed men in an unidentified vehicle fired more than 50 bullets of various calibers at the home of Arturo Albizures, a member of Asociación COMUNICARTE, in the Salud Pública neighbourhood of Guatemala City's Zone 17.

One of Albizures' youngest children was home at the time, but was unhurt in the attack. The other family members were attending a religious service near the house.

This incident follows a February 2007 attack on the Asociación COMUNICARTE office, which was at that time located in the National Movement for Human Rights' (Movimiento Nacional por los Derechos Humanos) building. On that occasion, all of the organisation's production equipment and part of its valuable historical archive of visual images were stolen. The thieves also left clear death threats when they hung ropes in the shape of a noose on the door handles.

Human rights activists said that since its inception, Asociación COMUNICARTE's principal objective has been to publicise the struggle of the Guatemalan people to establish a state with true democracy.

The activists went on to say that the actions against Albizures represent an attack on free expression in that they aim to limit the independent communications work that organisations such as CONUMICARTE do for human rights groups.

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