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Guatemala: Attacks against Mayan Poqomchi and Mayan Q'eqchi communities aimed at arresting leaders and forcibly evicting them from their lands in favour of extractive companies

Centro de Medios Independientes

"Guatemala: Stop Evictions Against Mayan Communities And Respect Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Over Their Lands, Territories And Resources", 01 December 2022

...The Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI), whose mission is to confront rights violation and criminalization of indigenous peoples with impunity, urgently calls on the State of Guatemala to stop the evictions and aggression by the security forces against the Maya Poqomchi and Maya Q'eqchi communities of Sierra de Minas, Municipality of Purulha, Baja Verapaz. The Government of Guatemala must recognize, respect and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples over their ancestral territories...This siege aimed to arrest Mayan Indigenous leaders, forcefully evict them from their lands in favor of farmers (specifically the Thomae family) and facilitate the establishment of extractive companies...The siege directly affected 15 communities...

...[T]he threats of eviction continue and a group of armed civilians at the service of the landowners continues to terrorize the communities...

According to testimonies of villagers, the police and military burned property and livestock belonging to the indigenous Mayans. They restricted their free movement, including the entry of goods, terrorized the communities, and prevented people from selling their agricultural products and obtaining food and health services...

These gross violations...continue unabated inspite of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Resolution 67/2020 dated October 14, 2020, which issued precautionary measures in favor of indigenous Mayan Poqomchi' families from the Washington and Dos Fuentes communities. The resolution warned of the urgent situation in which their rights to life and personal safety are at risk...