Thursday, August 13, 2015

Indigenous Community Wins Land Rights Victory in Guatemala After 200 Years of Struggle

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 face of eviction, the communities negotiated a settlement with the Guatemalan Minister of the Interior, the Secretary of Agrarian Affairs, and representatives from Maderas Filips Dias/Eco-Tierra, the logging business seeking to harvest the land's forests.

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.


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