PBI asks the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing to visit Guatemala, see the situation of forced evictions

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 4, Peace Brigades International (PBI) Advocacy Coordinator Yannick Wild presented to the 55th Human Rights Council Session at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Balakrishnan Rajagopal.

His presentation noted:

In Guatemala, in recent years, dozens of forced evictions have left thousands of families, mainly Indigenous peoples, in a situation of humanitarian emergency. International standards have not been respected, and most have been carried out with disproportionate use of force and violence, sometimes extrajudicial and with the presence of armed non-state actors. Dozens of families have lost their homes, their belongings, and their crops have been destroyed. In addition, many people have been evicted and criminalized and arrest warrants have been issued through a co-opted justice system.

Unequal and disputed land tenure, a structural cause of agrarian conflict, together with a co-opted justice system that favors economic powers for extractivist, agribusiness and energy projects, is resulting in the loss of access to land and territory for indigenous peoples.

We ask the Rapporteur to visit the country and learn first hand about the problems and advise the communities as well as the implementation of the amicable agreement recently agreed with the government.

We support the call to Guatemala by Commissioner Pulido of the Inter-American Commission in February 2024, to provide security to the communities so that there will be no more evictions. We also endorse the recommendation of an independent delegation of lawyers to suspend the granting of licenses for activities that affect the ancestral territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent and consultation.

The video of the presentation can be seen here.

For more about the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project (1983 to 1999, 2003 to the present), click here.


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