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News > Guatemala

Guatemalan Police Burns 100 Houses Of Indigenous Farmers

  • Children contemplate the remains of a burned house, Izabal, Ecuador, Nov. 17, 2021.

    Children contemplate the remains of a burned house, Izabal, Ecuador, Nov. 17, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @ContactoHoy

Published 18 November 2021

The Giammattei administration alleged that the Police followed the protocols established by law for cases of illegal territories occupation.

On Wednesday, Guatemalan farmer and human rights organizations denounced that the National Civil Police evicted and burnt the houses of 100 Indigenous families who claim ownership of the land currently being exploited by a transnational company that grows African palm in the Estor region.


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"During the last armed conflict (1960-1996), many farmers fled to the mountains to avoid being murdered. Taking advantage of this situation, government-supported landowners illegally appropriated their lands, which they continue to refuse to hand over since they obtain millions from these territories' rental to transnational companies," Farmer Unity Committee (CUC) Coordinator Daniel Pascual condemned.

President Alejandro Giammattei's Communication Secretary Kevin Lopez alleged that the Guatemalan Police did not violate human rights since it followed the eviction protocols established for cases of illegal occupations.

"The Police burned all the farmers’ belongings: canned grains, household supplies, and clothes. The officers even used tractors to wipe out the belongings that remained intact in the fire," Pascual lamented and recalled officers exercised violence against the Indigenous families.

Currently, the Estor region is under a "state of siege" imposed by Giammattei to protect the activities of a Swiss-financed nickel processing plant from the protests of activists, who have warned of its environmental risks.

Recently, the Guatemalan justice ordered to suspend the Fenix mine, which also operated in the Estor without the Indigenous communities' consent. However, the mine has not yet been closed, a situation that has aggravated tensions between the population and officials.

“We will ask international human rights organizations to implement precautionary measures in this region so that violence and injustice against the population finally stop,” Pascual stated.

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