In a series of raids last month, some 1,000 soldiers and national police troops evicted more than 3,000 Q’eqchi Maya campesinos from lands claimed by an agribusiness firm in the Polochic Valley of Alta Verapaz department, Guatemala. During the eviction, the security forces torched or bulldozed the campesinos’ homes. One person was killed and nearly a dozen injured during the principal operation on March 15. After the evictions, private security guards of the Chabil Utzaj sugar mill destroyed the community’s crops, despite a court injunction blocking the company from taking actions that fall within the jurisdiction of the security forces. A complaint by the Committee for Campesino Unity (CUC) said the evicted campesinos had been been living and working on the land for 30 years. (IPS, March 29)
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