Act now for justice in the Polochic, Guatemala land grab

In March of 2011, 769 campesino families were kicked out by forced from the Polochic Valley. Their homes and crops were burned and three campesinos died as a consequence of the violence used during the eviction by the government’s and the Chabil Utzaj Company’s security forces.

Although the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested the necessary resources to guarantee food, security, health and housing for that population from the Guatemalan government, over a year has elapsed and the government has not fulfilled any of those measures.

The campesino families who worked the land, growing corn, beans and other food, now suffer from hunger. The President of the Republic promised to provide land to the affected families, but thus far he has only offered wetlands unsuitable for crops or housing.

The men and women campesino from the Polochic Valley do not want bags of food or fertilizer. They only want the land, where they have lived and grown their food for generations, returned.

This case in Guatemala is a clear example of land grabbing, a growing tendency that, under the appearance of investment in agriculture, results in evictions, lies, human rights violations and the destruction of the way of life of vulnerable communities who depend on the land to subsist.

By signing this petition, we denounce a clear example of land grabbing and support the demand of these 769 families claiming that the government of Otto F. Perez Molina delivers on its promise and returns their land so that they may live in a dignified manner.

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More action to stop land grabs: Join more than 30,000 people calling on the World Bank to be a force for good, and freeze large land investment.

Read the report: Our Land, Our Lives: Time out on the global land rush