PBI-Guatemala accompanies Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) at media conference on Maya Q’eqchi’ struggles

Published by Brent Patterson on

On January 14, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted: “Today PBI accompanied the Human Rights Law Firm at a press conference on the situation in Laguna Larga, Laguna Lachuá and Izabal.”

Laguna Larga

In December, the  Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued a follow-up resolution in which it analyzed the implementation of precautionary measures in favour of the Q’eqchi’ families of the Laguna Larga community in the department of Petén who were forcibly displaced by the army and police on June 2, 2017.

PBI-Guatemala has previously posted: “115 families were evicted under the pretext that the territory where they lived was within the boundaries of a protected area.”

Izabal

In November, the IACHR condemned the excessive use of force against demonstrators and members of the Q’eqchi’ communities in the department of Izabal who had maintained peaceful actions and blockades against the Fenix mine on their territory.

Laguna Lachuá

The IACHR has also previously condemned the murder of Alberto Cucul Cho, a Q’eqchi’ defender of the territory in the department of Alta Verapaz, who was killed while on his way to the Laguna Lachuá National Park where he worked as a park ranger. He advocated against the illegal logging of fine woods and the hunting of protected species.

PBI-Guatemala began to accompany lawyer Édgar Pérez Archila in August 2010 and then extended that accompaniment to other lawyers at the Human Rights Law Firm (Bufete Jurídico de Derechos Humanos) in late 2013.

Photo: One of the placards refers to the upcoming 5th anniversary of the displacement of the Laguna Larga community from the Maya Biosphere Reserve protected area. Another sign says “CONAP = desalojos” which means the government agency known as the National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP) = evictions. The concern has been expressed that protected areas can mean that corporate extractivism continues while Indigenous communities are forcibly displaced in the name of forest conservation.


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