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Forced diplacements in Guatemala continue to impact communities

Guatemala City, Jun 24 (Prensa Latina) Forced evictions continue to impact communities in Guatemala, with more than 10 peasant families expulsions during 2024, and more dispossession announced for the coming days, with no way out of the situation.

For a month now, 160 Mayan Q’eqchi’ people, including pregnant women, children and elderly, have been living outdoors, without food, suffering from skin conditions, described the Plaza Pública local media outlet, adding that the group was forced to leave their premises. They found refuge on the land occupied by another community, but there is also a court order that seeks to expel those who granted them shelter.

The latter have inhabited the place for around nine years, since they suffered in August 2015 a natural disaster in Sierra Santa Cruz, where they were originally from, and were forced to move, as reportedly stated by Prensa Comunitaria.

On June 26th, the Second Criminal and Narcotics Court of First Instance of Alta Verapaz ordered the eviction of the Las Delicias y Dolores Estate. The people displaced (an estimated 40 families, a total of 125 persons) will be housed by the municipality of Cobán. The Public Ministry requested support to guarantee them food.

The executive director of the Presidential Commission for Peace and Human Rights, Oswaldo Samayoa, stated after a meeting on-site that there is no coordination between the Executive and the Judiciary to care for the evicted and to properly implement the protocols in El Esto, and ruled out questioning private property; “We are verifying what the situation is in terms of needs to address rights. The protocols force us to know to be able to attend. It is time to advise the department to coordinate,” he stressed.

The Peasant Unity Committee (CUC), one of the historical organizations of peasants defending rural communities, noted on May 22nd that the eviction in Buena Vista was promoted by an order with “questionable irregularities,” and called on the authorities and the international community to intervene and respect due process and the human rights of the Q’eqchi’ families.

The CUC also condemned on June 11th the threats, evictions and violent actions carried out in different rural communities, which have resulted in two deaths.