International/National: Laguna Larga Continues to Demand Immediate Return 28 Months after Forced Displacement

LLIPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 20th, the Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman, Jordan Rodas, and the Fifth Visitor of the Mexican National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Edgar Corzo, visited families who are victims of forced displacement from the Laguna Larga community (Guatemala) to verify the serious situation facing families in the camp on the border between Guatemala and Mexico.

Currently, the Guatemalan victims have been displaced for more than 28 months, after the community of Laguna Larga was violently evicted by 1400 elements of the Guatemalan army in June 2017. Since then the community has been accompanied by different civil organizations, including; Voces Mesoamericanas, the “All Rights for All” Network (Red TDT), the Legal Office for Human Rights, Candelaria Civil Resistance, Health and Community Development AC (SADEC in its Spanish acronym) and SIPAZ, who, as a follow-up to the process, gave a press conference to air the current situation of the displaced families process.

In the Campeche City, along with displaced representatives, they announced that the situation of the approximately 350 people, including more than 100 boys, girls and adolescents, remains worrying. Representatives of the displaced said they continue to resist at the border waiting for the government of their country to give them guarantees to return.

They announced that during the months of forced displacement “they have survived in conditions of extreme precariousness, which has especially impacted minors, the elderly and pregnant women, groups among which there have already been eight deaths.”

They denounced “the lack of guarantee of access to health, the lack of adequate and quality food, water in conditions not suitable for human consumption, as well as difficulties in the identity procedures of girls and boys born in Mexico.”

Another issue of urgency is the repair of a dirt road between the current site of the camp on the border strip and the ejido of El Desengaño, which currently represents three seriously damaged kilometers. Properly fixing it could substantially improve the lives of families.

LLIIThe road to the camp @ SIPAZ

In this regard, during a meeting in June 2019, the state government of Campeche and the municipal government of La Candelaria, committed themselves to the construction of the road in a period not exceeding 15 days. “Unfortunately, four months later, this has not happened and is justified between changes of the state government of Campeche and municipality of La Candelaria.”

They urged the state and municipal governments, in a collaborative framework, to immediately comply with the road repair commitment. Failure to do so will continue to put the life and integrity of the people in the camp at risk.

“Faced with this context of repeated omissions, breach of commitments and systematic absence of the Guatemalan government, directly responsible for the displacement of the community of Laguna Larga, families continue to demand, as the optimal measure of care and reparation, immediate return,” they stressed

For more information in Spanish:

A 28 meses de desplazamiento forzado, Laguna Larga continúa exigiendo retorno inmediato (Red TdT, 21 de octubre de 2019)

Activistas exigen ayuda humanitaria para guatemaltecos desplazados (Proceso, 21 de octubre de 2019)

Desplazados de Laguna Larga cumplen 28 meses de impunidad (22 de octubre de 2019, Chiapas Paralelo)

Exigen ayuda urgente para desplazados en frontera Campeche-Guatemala (La Jornada Maya, 21 de octubre de 2019)

Piden atención urgente para guatemaltecos desplazados (Novedades Campeche, 22 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Nacional: Dos años después de su desplazamiento forzado, la comunidad de Laguna Larga sigue exigiendo el retorno a sus tierras en Guatemala. (June 6th, 2019)

International/National: Over 100 Guatemalan Campesina Families Take Refuge at Mexican Border (June 11, 2017)

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