Sign our Petition to Stop Violence Against Indigenous Families in Guatemala!
In March of 2011, hundreds of Maya Q'eqchi' families in Guatemala’s Polochic Valley were violently pushed off their lands and watched as their homes were destroyed by security forces contracted by a sugar company that claims to own the land. Left without shelter, land, or any means to survive, these communities have been facing increasing starvation, sickness, and ongoing violence from the soldiers, national police and private security guards that originally displaced them.
Guatemalan and international human rights organizations have denounced these abuses and successfully called on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to intervene. In June, the IACHR ordered the Guatemalan government take steps to assure the health, safety and physical well being of these evicted indigenous farming communities. But seven months later, the Guatemalan government has done very little to protect these communities or provide them land and basic goods they need to survive. Help us build international pressure on the Guatemalan government to ensure that these communities get the support they desperately need.
Sign the petition below urging the Guatemalan Government to protect its citizens and provide the resources to end this humanitarian crisis!
I am alarmed and deeply concerned about the hunger, illness, insecurity, and violence currently impacting the Maya Q’eqchi’ communities of the Polochic Valley who were victims of forced displacement last March. At this very moment, thousands of men, women and children are living in precarious conditions, lacking the ability to meet the most basic of human needs: food, health, shelter, security and work.
In June of 2011, at the insistence of a coalition of organizations from Guatemala and the United States, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted precautionary measures for the evicted communities and requested that the Guatemalan government act to prevent a humanitarian disaster. I am concerned about how little progress the Guatemalan government has made over the past six months in addressing these communities’ need for food, shelter, security, and physical integrity. So far there have only been two deliveries of food aid—and those were vastly insufficient.
The lack of governmental action will have deadly consequences for these indigenous communities. At least one infant has already died due to complications resulting from malnutrition, and hundreds of other children are at risk. In addition, community members continue to suffer threats, intimidation, and physical violence.
On January 5th, 2012, security forces, with national police and military protecting them, brought in several tractors to tear up hundreds of hectares of subsistence crops. Security forces also attacked two community members with machetes as police and soldiers stood by and watched.
The communities’ rights to food security, health services, housing, physical integrity, due process, and freedom of movement, among other human rights, continue to be violated. The Government must do everything possible to guarantee the rights of those affected.
I urge you to:
• Fully implement the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. With no food and nowhere to farm, these families face malnutrition, sickness, starvation, and death.
• Put an end to the violence and intimidations directed at members of the affected communities.
• Fully investigate the recent deaths of community members Antonio Beb Ac, Oscar Reyes, and María Margarita Che Chub, and bring those responsible to justice.
• Provide land nearby on which the members of the Polochic communities can live and plant their crops.
Furthermore, I respectfully request that the government cease any further forced land evictions, and instead work with agrarian communities to find just, nonviolent, and sustainable solutions to land conflicts, in compliance with the State's international human rights obligations.
|2264||Mon Feb 27 02:08:29 EST 2012||David Hind||Irvine, CA|
|2263||Sun Feb 26 14:44:42 EST 2012||nelda farrow||shawnee, OK|
|2262||Sun Feb 26 13:58:39 EST 2012||carole hagen||warrenton, OR|
|2261||Sun Feb 26 13:07:14 EST 2012||Heinz Leitner||Vienna, ot|
|2260||Sat Feb 25 21:37:55 EST 2012||Martha Eberle||Not provided, TX|
|2259||Thu Feb 23 07:50:14 EST 2012||Sabine Doerste||Ireland, ot|
|2258||Thu Feb 23 07:24:16 EST 2012||ed mulvihill||dingle, ot|
|2257||Tue Feb 21 14:59:18 EST 2012||Gina Gonzalez||Boulder, CO|
|2256||Sat Feb 18 17:03:18 EST 2012||lonna bloom||Denver, CO|
|2255||Sat Feb 18 01:01:08 EST 2012||Aletia Hass-Holcombe||Corvallis, OR|
|2254||Tue Feb 14 16:12:44 EST 2012||Karlene Gunter||Rochester, NY|
|2253||Tue Feb 14 08:43:11 EST 2012||Gianprit Singh||ARGENTINA, ot|
|2252||Mon Feb 13 17:24:24 EST 2012||Laura Webb||Berea, KY|
|2251||Mon Feb 13 11:46:50 EST 2012||Lyle McKee||IN|
|2250||Mon Feb 13 10:42:16 EST 2012||Barbara Zilles||Iowa City, IA||All eyes are on the Maya!|
|2249||Sun Feb 12 04:13:46 EST 2012||Steven Fake||Womelsdorf, PA|
|2248||Sat Feb 11 12:49:23 EST 2012||Margaret Maurin||Bryn Mawr, PA|
|2247||Fri Feb 10 14:56:02 EST 2012||Gary Withey||West Fargo, ND|
|2246||Thu Feb 09 23:33:42 EST 2012||Virginia Richardson||Westlake, MD||Virginia M Richardson
Bethesda, MD 20817
|2245||Wed Feb 08 19:24:11 EST 2012||Anonymous||FL|
|2244||Wed Feb 08 12:43:03 EST 2012||Amy Wiemers||Interlaken, NY|
|2243||Tue Feb 07 16:41:24 EST 2012||anita b||PE|
|2242||Tue Feb 07 16:35:27 EST 2012||DARLENE KABONI||ON|
|2241||Tue Feb 07 15:23:22 EST 2012||Todd Pardue||Everett, WA|
|2240||Tue Feb 07 14:32:00 EST 2012||Kyle Fowler||Seattle, WA|