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  • Victim whose home was set ablaze and destroyed in Cubilguitz, Alta Verapaz.

    Victim whose home was set ablaze and destroyed in Cubilguitz, Alta Verapaz. | Photo: teleSUR

Published 16 August 2020
Opinion

Homes were burned and destroyed, belongings were stolen and the community fears for a repeat attack with nowhere to go.

The Altiplano Campesino Committee of Guatemala denounces that 40 Q'eqchi' Maya families in Cubilguitz, Alta Verapaz were attacked by armed groups on Saturday night. 

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Six houses were completely burned and destroyed, including the clothing and belongings of the victims. Other possessions were robbed by the armed criminals. The community fears a repeat attack as night falls.

The Campesino Committee is linking the violent actions to business sectors and says that these particular armed groups work at the service of the Dorothee Diesseldorff family as the persecution, evictions and dispossession of campesinos continues.

Those targeted in the evictions were workers on a farm owned by Diesseldorff who had been fired 15 years ago without receiving their salaries or benefits. 

They have also said that this is part of a history of big landowners utilizing small paramilitary groups in order to violently and extrajudicially evict communities from their land in addition to criminalizing and jailing peasant workers.

The victims say that the attackers doused the home with gasoline before setting the homes ablaze.

The community is asking for urgent support from government authorities and asking them to carry out an inspection to see for themselves what the families are facing.

They assure that their lives are at risk if the assailants are to return.

The affected families want to appeal to authorities and non-governmental organizations for help in recovering their homes and belongings, with immediate needs being clothing, food, medicine and security.

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