The criminalization of Jorge Coc and Marcelino Xol Cucul, indigenous authorities from the community of Choctun Basilá (municipality of Cobán), is based on the accusation of homicide and attempted homicide relating to acts that occurred on July 13, 2017. On that day one person was killed and others were injured, all of them were members of the Chilté cooperative located in the municipality of San Pedro Carchá. Half a year later, 13 arrest warrants were issued against inhabitants of Choctun Basilá for these two crimes. Jorge Coc, who lives in Las Pacayas, about 40 minutes from Choctun Basilá where he works his land, was arrested on January 16, 2018. Jorge has declared that on the day of the events he was at his home in Las Pacayas taking care of his sick father. Marcelino Xol Cucul was arrested on March 12, 2018 by private individuals who beat him before taking him to a police station. Marcelino says that on July 13, 2017 he was teaching in a community in Chisec, several hours from the scene of the crime. Despite their testimonies of innocence, the inconsistencies in the testimonies from the witnesses to the crime and the failure of the accusers to individualize the crimes both men were formally charged and imprisoned. Their cases are currently being debated.
On August 24, 2018, a further two of the 13 accused of the same crimes, Juan Bautista Riveiro and José Manuel Coc Saquil, were acquitted after 11 months in pretrial detention. This acquittal was appealed by the MP of Cobán and the decision of the court of appeal is pending.
According to CCDA's assessment of the situation, this criminalization has it origins in an inter-community dispute between Choctun Basilá and the Chilté cooperative. It is a conflict that has been ongoing for more than 10 years and it originated with the annexing of land to the Choctun Basilá community. Both communities claim this land as their own. Over the course of the last 10 years, the community of Choctun Basilá, has denounced aggression they have suffered from members of the Chilté cooperative on more than 90 occasions. They even succeeded in setting up a round-table for dialogue with the Office of the Vice President in an attempt to resolve this dispute. This, however, produced no results.
The PDH and OHCHR's report "Situación de las personas defensorasde derechos humanos en Guatemala: Entre el compromiso y la adversidad" mention this as one of the cases where an entire community has been criminalized and where there is no differentiation of the accusations brought against the accused.