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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Guatemala Indigenous Community Appear before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Sa’Komonil Association accompanied the community authorities representing the 64 families that make up the Agua Caliente Indigenous Community, Lot 9, in the municipality of El Estor, department of Izabal, Guatemala.

Alfredo Chub Quib, Community Mayor and Main Guide, expressed his anger; he said “once again we have come to Costa Rica to request a hearing. We are filing a petition today before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR Court) so that the agreements that these 64 families have reached with the State of Guatemala are respected.

How is it possible that the Court does not respond? They are putting our community as a plaintiff of the State of Guatemala as if it had not given us the right to our land. And since 2020 the Land Fund gave us our land title.”

The leader also added “we have our own Community Development Council (COCODE). That is why we have come here for the second time to clarify this situation, we want to be considered in this dispute that supposedly will be deliberated soon. This is because we represent the collective interests of our indigenous community.”

Regarding this particular case, the Court examined the claims of an alleged lack of internal regulations to guarantee the right of the Indigenous Community to collective property; they also valued the statements made on lack of a property title, the granting and establishment of a mining project in their territory without prior consultation and the absence of adequate and effective remedies to remedy the above violations.

The indigenous authorities request the ceasing of violations of the community’s rights, the recognition of the legal personality and civil rights of the community, and their right to justice.

“We are here to speak on behalf of our community. We already have the land and we only need development projects to continue living in peace,” said Pedro Quinich, senior leader and founder of the Agua Caliente Indigenous Community, Lot 9.

Furthermore, community member Carlos Asig, stated that “the IACHR is discriminating us. We sent requests to be able to participate in the case to publicize the falsehoods that Rodrigo Tot says on behalf of the community and to ask for the case to be closed, but they have denied us this right.”

Despite their claims, multiple letters and emails, pleas and personally presenting themselves before the Court, their hearing has not yet been confirmed.

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