The Commission of Petitioners of the Preventative Measures recommended by the IACHR in favor of the 14 violently evicted communities of the Polochic Valley, composed of:

COMMUNICATES TO NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC OPINION, PEASANT ORGANIZATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS, TO THE COMMUNITIES OF THE POLOCHIC VALLEY AFFECTED BY THE VIOLENT EVICTIONS CARRIED OUT BY THE GOVERNMENT AND THE CHABIL UTZAJ COMPANY:

That representatives of the communities affected by the evictions in the Polochic Valley and the commission of Petitioners of the Preventative Measures 121-11 conferred by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, met with the IACHR and representatives of the Guatemalan government on the 26th of October at its base in Washington.

With the objective of raising awareness of the lack of political will and the continued delay on the part of COPREDEH and competent institutions of the State to grant precautionary measures, which, six months after the evictions, have not provided the families with food, shelter and other humanitarian aid necessary to alleviate the conditions of hunger and danger affecting the communities following the evictions; a situation which has worsened due to the tropical storms and threatened the already vulnerable conditions of the families.

That the life and physical integrity of the evicted families are still at serious risk due to the Chabil Utzaj Company, who is attacking them with impunity and repeatedly destroying the little food and belongings they have, such as occurred on October 26, 2011 in the Community of Paraná, Panzós, Alta Verapaz.

  • In relation to the above situation, we demand that the Government:
  • Provide food: corn, beans, rice, sugar, salt, oil and fortified milk for a minimum period of 6 months; the maximum time period shall be determined by the length of time it takes to solve the land dispute in these communities.
  • Proceed immediately against the personnel of the private security of the Chabil Utzaj Company, and investigate and capture the members of the paramilitary groups and civilians used by the company to target the communities.
  • Urgently promote the temporary relocation of the evicted families to a dignified territorial area, which will adequately provide food, basic services, health and security, and a place for the families to work.

COPREDEH continues to justify incompliance with the Precautionary Measures due to the supposed lack of identification and localization of the evicted population. COPREDEH, in the presence of the IACHR and the indigenous and peasant organizations, committed to report the results of a community census and to deliver the first round of food aid on November 14, 2011 at the working meeting between beneficiaries and petitioners in the municipality of Santa Catalina la Tinta, Alta Verapaz.

We also denounce the recent acts of violence directly provoked by members of the Chabil Utzaj private security forces, paramilitary groups and assassins, who are not only attacking the families, but also harassing and threatening to kill international officers and volunteers who, in solidarity and in the absence of the state, are providing services and aid to the affected communities.

 

WE DEMAND OF THE GUATEMALAN STATE:

  • COMPLIANCE WITH THE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
  • RESTITUTION OF GOODS AND DAMAGES CAUSED DURING THE EVICTIONS CARRIED OUT BY CHABIL UTZAJ AND THE STATE AGAINST THE FAMILIES OF THE POLOCHIC VALLEY
  • TO, ONCE AND FOR ALL, SOLVE THE LAND CONFLICT AND PERMIT THE Q’EQCHI FAMILIES OF THE POLOCHIC VALLEY TO LIVE IN PEACE AND FREE OF VIOLENCE.
  • TO CHARGE AND PUNISH THE CHABIL UTZAJ COMPANY, PRIVATE SECURITY GUARDS, AND PARAMILITARY GROUPS THAT CONTINUE TO ATTACK THE COMMUNITIES, LEADERS AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS.

 

BENEFICIARIES AND PETITIONERS OF THE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

Guatemala, November 30th 2011.