Date: Sun, 14 Jan 1996 03:03:20 GMT
/** reg.guatemala: 195.0 **/
Campesinos Charge Plantation Owners with Land Invasion
Cerigua Weekly Briefs, No.2, 11 January 1996
San Pedro Sacatepequez, San Marcos, January 5. Claiming to uphold the right to private property, Guatemala's agricultural elite have consistently called for stiff legal measures against campesinos who occupy estates the and barons claim as their own. But in San Pedro Sacatepequez, two indigenous communities have turned the tables on the landed gentry and brought a law suit against local estate owners for invading the lands they say belong to them.
In dozens of cases, campesino "invaders" are driven off the estates they occupy because they cannot provide a title deed to support their claim to the land. But the communities of El Tablero and Sacuchun in San Pedro Sacatepequez say they have a 1892 deed that proves their ownership of Australia and Plan de Arena plantations. The campesinos say since that time neighboring plantation owners little by little took over community lands.
The campesinos were evicted December 22 from Australia estate, which they had occupied in early December. And earlier this week the Public Ministry ordered the arrest and eviction of the campesinos occupying Plan de Arena.
The campesinos presented their charges to the Public Ministry January 5.