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March 18 2008 | GUATEMALA


Veto keeps Guatemala executions on hold.

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Associated Press

GUATEMALA: Veto keeps Guatemala executions on hold

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom on Friday vetoed a bill that would have reinstated capital punishment and given the president the power to commute death penalty sentences.
There are 34 prisoners in limbo on death row after a high court in 2002 suspended executions, ruling that presidential reprieves on death penalty cases were unconstitutional.
The vetoed measure, approved overwhelmingly in February by lawmakers, would have given Colom the authority to decide whether the prisoners in question are executed by lethal injection or have their sentences commuted to the maximum 50 years in prison.
"If (the death penalty) were a disincentive, we would reinstate it," Colom said. "But we have studied cases in various states in the United States, and it doesn't dissuade" crime.
The Catholic Church and European embassies openly opposed the law, saying it would violate human rights.
But various newspaper polls indicated more than 90 percent of Guatemalans favor capital punishment, and the measure was backed by 140 of the legislature's 158 members in February.
Otto Perez Molina of the conservative Patriotic Party, who was the runner-up to Colom in November elections, criticized the veto.
"He's taking things backward even though his own party supported the measure in Congress," Perez said.
Lawmakers can override Colom with a two-thirds supermajority.
Colom said "strengthening security institutions" is the best way to fight crime in Central America's most violent country, where gangs are rampant and as few as 2 % of more than 5,000 homicides a year are solved.
The last time Guatemala executed a prisoner was in 2000, when 2 members of a kidnapping ring were executed by lethal injection on live television.

Guatemala is a signatory to the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, which requires that those sentenced to capital punishment be given the right to appeal for a pardon from the president or other authority.

October 15 2016

Human rights activist asks Pope to discuss the death penalty with Lukashenka

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus", has sent a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to touch upon the issue of capital punishment during his meeting with President Lukashenka.
October 10 2016
October 10,14th World Day Against the Death Penalty

On the 14th world day against the death penalty a conference entitled "No Justice Without Life" will be held in Japan

July 2 2016
Address and the Final Ceremony by Mario Marazziti. Nobel Peace Prize Room, City Hall. June 23rd 2016

CITIES FOR LIFE – CITIES AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo

by Mario Marazziti
June 25 2016

Pope Francis: “Death penalty is unacceptable”

Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
May 25 2016
"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

Jakarta is among the 15 cities in Indonesia where in the past years the event "Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty" was held, organized by Sant'Egidio in over two thousand municipalities in the five continents
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June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
May 23 2016

Malaysian death row convict loses final appeal in Singapore
May 23 2016

Vescovo filippino: È presto per giudicare il contraddittorio Duterte. No alla pena di morte
May 14 2016

Pfizer blocca i farmaci per la pena di morte negli Usa
May 14 2016
La Stampa

Pena di morte, Pfizer blocca l’uso dei suoi farmaci per le iniezioni letali negli Usa
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