Video: the lost lands of Nebaj, Guatemala
The land of several communities from the Municipality of Nebaj was sold to the State during the civil war. But this happened without any valid legal basis.
The expropriation occurred in 1984 in the area of Tzalbal, at a time when most of the people from 14 local communities had flown to Mexico or the neighboring forests because of the war, which was particularly intense in the area.
The loss of farmland affected some 15000 people.
In 2013, the communities asked the ICJ to help them recover their land.
An initial investigation by the ICJ confirmed that the mayor at that time (1984) had signed a document transferring the land into the State’s hand.
However, this happened without consulting the communities and none of their representatives signed the document.
The ICJ asked the State to return the land to the communities through a Governmental Agreement, which was initially accepted.
However, the Government eventually reneged on its promise and ended the negotiations.
The ICJ is now preparing an action for protection of constitutional rights to help the communities recover their land through a judicial decision.
Guatemala-Caso Nebaj-News-Web Story-2016-SPA (full story in PDF, Spanish)
The Nebaj case in video (Spanish, English subtitles)
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