PBI-Guatemala accompanies UVOC in judicial recognition of the boundaries of two communities on La Primavera farm
On February 28, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted on its Facebook page, “Yesterday we accompanied the community members of UVOC [the Verapaz Union of Peasant Organizations] and their lawyer in the act of judicial recognition, carried out by the Justice of the Peace of San Cristóbal, Alta Verapaz, of the boundaries of the El Chico and Saq-ixim communities on the La Primavera farm.”
PBI-Guatemala adds, “The ownership of part of the lands of this farm has been achieved by the communities in 2015 [as explained below]. However, today there are still conflicts over the property and access to it.”
In November 2013, PBI-Guatemala interviewed UVOC lawyer Jorge Luis Morales about the case of the Primavera estate, San Cristóbal, Alta Verapaz.
He stated, “The case of La Primavera is emblematic of the issue of agrarian disputes in Guatemala: it is a situation that we have lived through time and time again. The workers and their families’ land tenure rights are a legitimate result of a working relationship and were violated when this property changed hands. The new landowners do not recognize this land tenure right and try to evict communities from the land.”
In 2015, Land Portal reported, “Success is rare among indigenous peoples’ struggles for land rights in Guatemala. But the nearly 300 Poqomchi’ Maya families that make up the Primavera communities in the department of Alta Verapaz have just won a significant victory.”
“On July 14, community representatives and the Guatemalan Land Fund signed documents to officially recognize three communities that have called the land home for centuries.”
“In the end, the logging company ceded nearly 800 hectares of land, with the Guatemalan secretary of agrarian affairs overseeing the titling of the land to the families of the communities.”
UVOC is an indigenous and peasant organization dedicated to the defence and promotion of access to land in the context of historical dispossession and ongoing inequality in Guatemala. UVOC represents Q’eqchi’, Poqomchi, Achi and Mestizas peoples.
PBI-Guatemala has accompanied UVOC since 2005.