PBI-Canada to highlight Q’eqchi’ community seeking return of their land from a Canadian-backed military base in Guatemala

Published by Brent Patterson on

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“We only demand what is ours, our lands.”

Join us on Thursday July 15 at 3 pm EDT for a discussion with a representative from the Chicoyogüito Neighborhood Association of Alta Verapaz (AVECHAV) and lawyer Édgar Pérez Archila of the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH). Rachel Small from World Beyond War Canada will also be speaking.

To register for this webinar, click here.

This July marks the 53rd anniversary of the Q’eqchi’ community of Chicoyogüito being displaced from their land for the construction of a military base in Coban, Alta Verapaz. That community continues to live in poverty and without access to land.

That military base became a place for illegal detention and extrajudicial killings during the Guatemalan genocide against Indigenous peoples.

Since 2012, 565 bodies have been exhumed from 85 unmarked graves. The bodies identified are of Mayan Achí, Q’eqchi’, Pomochí, Ixil, and Kiché peoples.

Last month, 21 residents of Chicoyogüito were arrested as they prepared to participate in a demonstration to demand their land back. The police used excessive force and those injured were taken to prison without treatment.

That military base on their land, now a training centre for UN peacekeeping missions, has been supported by the Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian government has not yet supported the Q’eqchi’ community’s call for their land back.

Édgar Pérez Archila

Lawyer Édgar Pérez Archila represents the families displaced by the military base.

He is also the lawyer for Q’eqchi’ defender Bernardo Caal Xol and for the families impacted by the military violence against the community of Dos Erres and the disappearance of union and student leaders in the Military Journal case.

Rachel Small

World Beyond War has noted: “From Panama to Guam to Puerto Rico to Okinawa to dozens of other locations across the world, the military has taken valuable land from local populations, often pushing out indigenous people in the process, without their consent and without reparations.”

Rachel Small from World Beyond War Canada will be joining this webinar to situate the struggle of the community of Chicoyogüito in this global context.

Join us!

Join us for this discussion on how a Q’eqchi’ community displaced from their land and subjected to a genocide are seeking justice and their land back. Learn what you can do solidarity with this struggle.

To register for this webinar, with English/Spanish translation, click here.

PBI-Guatemala accompaniment of the community on a walk marking the anniversary of their displacement, July 28, 2019.

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