ILC-LAC statement on the recent wave of evictions in Guatemala

Friday, 10th November 2017

The International Land Coalition Latin America and the Caribbean (ILC-LAC) is deeply concerned about the violent evictions carried out by the security forces of Guatemala on the 30th of  October and 1st -3rd  November 2017 in the communities Chab´il Cho´ch, in Izabal, and Cumbre Chanche Tactic and Semuy Cacchaila, in Alta Verapaz.

10 de noviembre de 2017

These evictions, which are a breach of protocols established by international treaties signed by the State of Guatemala [1], have made 240 families homeless, stripping them of their lands, households and harvests, and leaving them in conditions of extreme precariousness.

We, at ILC-LAC call upon the Government and institutions of Guatemala to respect the rights of families and affected communities, and to ensure their return to their lands and the pertinent reparations, as well as to seek suitable mechanisms to resolve prevailing cases of agrarian conflicts, and to prevent violation of the communities´ fundamental rights.

We also urge authorities to suspend evictions and the capture orders of leaders. These evictions denote a setback on previous governmental actions, as there were already spaces for dialogue with institutions responsible for land issues including the participation of Fondo de la Tierra -Land Fund- and the Ministry of Agricultural Affairs -Secretaria de Asuntos Agrarios or SAA- in order to reach fair solutions to land disputes.

We note with great concern that land continues to be a source of grave conflict. The Government must take urgent measures to establish a dialogue in good faith with displaced communities and other communities at risk of eviction, and reach suitable solutions that guarantee the rights to land and territory of these populations.

In the same line, we urge the Government to strengthen agricultural institutions and cease actions which are contrary to commitments made within the framework of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) which are been implemented in the country among other international instruments agreed to promote inclusive rural development.

ILC-ALC reaffirms its commitment to support communities, Indigenous Peoples and peasants and land defenders raising their voices to defend their rights, as well as their support to actions promoted by ILC members in Guatemala in favour of people-centred land governance.

 


[1] Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (PIDESC), entre otros.