Since Friday, March 15, Rubén Herrera, human rights defender and member of the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango for the Defense of Natural Resources (ADH), has been unjustly imprisoned for alleged crimes committed in relation to community resistance of the Cambalam hydroelectric dam, Santa Cruz Barillas. Citing 12 charges, including kidnapping and terrorism, a Guatemalan judge denied Herrera's bail, ordering the case move to pretrial proceedings on May 30, 2013.

During the past year, 11 community leaders engaged in peaceful and legitimate resistance to the Cambalam hydroelectric project have been illegally imprisoned on trumped-up charges, while more than 20 individuals continue to have arrest warrants pending against them. 

The arrest and imprisonment of Rubén Herrera is the most recent example of the systematic criminalization and persecution of community leaders. During the arraignment, even the Public Prosecutor argued the case should not continue as there is insufficient evidence linking him to the alleged crimes. Despite the lack of evidence, the judge ordered that the case against Herrera move forward and that Ruebén be imprisoned without bail.

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