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LOS CIMIENTOS URGENT ACTION ANNOUNCEMENT: June 6, 1997 A spokesman from the Maya K'iche community of Los Cimientos, Chajul, Guatemala reports that on June 5, 1997, two members of his community received death threats while picking corn in K'iche community lands. Five Ixil men, Felipe Cabo Rivero and four other members of 78 Ixil former Civil Patrol families who are illegally occupying the K'iche land, came with machetes and fire arms to where Juan Itzep Pasa and an 8 year old K'iche boy were collecting corn in a K'iche corn field. The Ixil men threatened to kill both the man and the child if they did not immediately leave the property. The man and boy were harvesting corn that was planted by the K'iche community on K'iche land. The 8 year old child has fallen ill from fear and has not been able to sleep since being threatened. Everybody in the K'iche community is frightened and worried about what is going to happen next. Recently, the Ixil burned a K'iche cornfield after destroying other K'iche food crops by running their cattle through them and stealing the remaining crops. The K'iche originally received their deed to this Los Cimientos land from the Ixil people more than 100 years ago. The K'iche founders of the community received government title to the land in 1909. All 672 villagers were driven from the land by the Guatemalan Army in 1981. The military then placed 50 Ixil Civil Patrol families on the land in 1989. The titles of the K'iche land owners were confirmed and the unarmed K'iche community returned to their land in 1994. The armed Ixil have refused to leave Los Cimientos even though they have signed agreements, witnessed by two Guatemalan governmental organizations, CEAR and FONAPAZ, the Army and all parties involved. These agreements, signed in 1994, 1995 and 1997 state that the Ixil will honor the land rights of the K'iche. The OAS, the Guatemalan court and a government study of the issue, have affirmed the legitimacy of the K'iche titles. The Ixil have repeatedly harassed and threatened the K'iche community. The K'iche tried to negotiate an equitable settlement, including offering to share the land. Each K'iche titleholder offered to give each of the (at that time) 50 Ixil families a piece of land the size of a city block. The Ixil rejected these offers with continued threats. The K'iche were forced into filing eviction proceedings and the Ixil have been ordered to leave the land peacefully. FONAPAZ has agreed to buy land for the Ixil. Nevertheless, the Ixil continue to threaten the lives of the K'iche community. Los Cimientos community asks that letters be written to FONAPAZ expressing strong concern for the safety of the K'iche families; urging that the agreements signed between Los Cimientos landowners and the Ixil be honored ; and that MINUGUA, United Nations observers in Guatemala, be called to witness the events in Los Cimientos. The Los Cimientos Alliance, a human rights advocacy organization representing the Council of Elders of Los Cimientos in the US, requests your letters on behalf of the children, women and men of the K'iche community of Los Cimientos. Please write to: FONAPAZ: Attention: Lic. Alfonsa de Leon Fax number: 011 502 332-3394 MINUGUA: Attention: David Stephan, Director Fax number: 1-212-963-9940 Please send copies of your letters to: The Los Cimientos Alliance PO Box 222304, Carmel, CA 93922 E-Mail: mayan42@aol.com Return to Video Center


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