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Carter Center Statement on the Death of Jose Emanuel "Pepe" Mendez

President and Mrs. Carter and all at the Carter Center were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jose Emanuel "Pepe" Mendez, son of 1990 Carter-Menil Human Rights Prize Recipient Amilcar Mendez Urizar.

Pepe Mendez was known for his work with his father in the promotion of human rights, particularly for Guatemalans' indigenous population. Although Pepe and his father were granted protective status by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the gunmen on August 17, 2007, were able to exact their toll as they murdered this leading human rights defender. The Carter Center is concerned about the increasing violence in Guatemala, and the potential negative effects on the upcoming national elections, and urges the government and police force to take all measures to identify and prosecute those responsible for this and all other human rights abuses.

The Carter Center extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Amilcar Mendez Urizar.


Photo Credit:  NYU/Jon Roemer

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter shakes the hand of 1990 Carter-Menil Human Rights Prize Recipient Amilcar Mendez Urizar. Mendez.   Urizar's son, Jose Emanuel "Pepe" Mendez, was murdered in Guatemala on Aug. 17, 2007. Pepe Mendez and his father worked with Guatemalan indigenous communities.

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