Guatemala: military removes squatters in capital —twice

After living on land in the center of Guatemala City since January, a group of about 100 impoverished families were forced to move at least twice during the week of Aug. 13 as the result of an eviction order obtained by the Defense Ministry, which claims the property. Defense Ministry spokesperson Col. Erick Escobedo said the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction had mandated the eviction on the grounds that the land was unstable; the disaster agency didn't return phone calls when the Associated Press tried to confirm Escobedo's statement.

Guatemala: students resist education 'reform'

An agent of Guatemala's National Civilian Police and two students were injured in a confrontation July 30 between riot police and students outside the Teachers School for Men in the south of Guatemala City; three students and a teacher were arrested for alleged attacks on security forces. The clash came after hundreds of students occupied eight schools, one in the capital and seven in other parts of the country, to protest proposed changes in the national teacher certification program. Security forces prevented the takeover of two other schools. Students also reportedly blocked various highways in the northern and northeastern parts of the country, but apparently without any confrontations with the police. (EFE, July 30)

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