Guatemalan civil organizations held a protest in Guatemala City on Jan. 29 as the opening of an international campaign to demand that the government of President Otto Pérez Molina provide land for 769 indigenous campesino families that were expelled from their fields in the Polochic Valley in the northeastern Guatemalan department of Alta Verapaz in March 2011. The campaign—led by Intermón Oxfam, a Spanish group affiliated with the relief organization Oxfam International—is being carried out in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Spain.
The organizers say Pérez Molina has made a promise to give land to the families, members of the Q’eqchi’ Maya group, but has failed to fulfill it. Guatemalan activist and 1992 Nobel peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum is one of the campaign’s supporters. “The land problem goes on being the main cause of poverty, of hunger and of injustices in Guatemala,” she said on Jan. 29. (Adital, Brazil, Jan. 28; Prensa Libre, Guatemala, Jan. 29)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Feb. 3.