We wrote to authorities in Guatemala to protest the forced displacement of the Maya Q’eqchi’ community of Chapín Abajo in El Estor, Izabal Department, carried out by agents of the National Civilian Police (PNC) and paramilitary forces.
On December 6, Guatemalan security forces arrived to carry out an eviction on behalf of the palm oil company NaturAceites, a member of the international Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Together with paramilitary forces, they raided homes of families, stealing their food and personal belongings. They fired tear gas on the residents. An investigative delegation arrived later and confirmed that several people were injured. A 17-year-old was seriously wounded and hospitalized in critical condition. At least one other young man was missing. Two other men suffered gunshot wounds. Several women were beaten and sustained injuries to their faces and bodies.
During the past several months, several Q'eqchi' communities have been evicted in the region of Alta Verapaz, Izabal and Petén.