2009-08. Nueva Linda: 5 Years Seeking Justice
September 17th, 2009
Kilometer 207. Highway to Champerico, Retalhuleu, Guatemala.
Agusut 31, 2009.
Issue: Impunity / Resistance / Land
Members of the Justice For Nueva Linda Civil Association marked their fifth anniversary settled along the shoulder of the Retalhuleu-Champerico highway. Their struggle focuses on seeing justice served for the forced disappearance of Hector Reyes on September 2003 as well as the violent eviction-turned-massacre carried out in the Nueva Linda landholding on August 31st, 2004.
For background information please view and read the previous photo-essays on the Nueva Linda case:
A delegation of community members from San Juan Sacatepequez showed their solidarity with the ongoing struggle for land and justice in Guatemala’s southern coast. Currently, several communities from San Juan Sacatepequez live out a serious territorial conflict with a cement-mining project that has been operating in their municipality.
During the first years of the struggle, the community in resistance consisted of roughly ten champas, or palm-roofed huts. But, on February 2008, dozens of campesinos in solidarity joined the community settled on the narrow shoulder of the highway. The following photographic sequence displays the construction of the champas that today house members of the Justice For Nueva Linda Civil Association.
Today, 256 people settle the community in resistance along kilometer 207 in over 80 plastic, cardboard and palm-roofed huts.
Grandchildren of the forcibly disappeared Hector Reyes who were born during these past 5 years in resistance.
Mariano Calel, legal representative of the Justice For Nueva Linda Civil Association, shares the latest news regarding a project financed by a Swiss-based solidarity group named Kilometer 207. The final details of the project, which hopes to strengthen the organization and provide funds for an agricultural production project, will be completed and revealed during the first months of 2010.
“This new project focuses primarily on our struggle for land”, explains Mariano Calel. “But, we can not even fathom laying down either one of our two flagship struggles: the struggle for justice, or the struggle to acquire land for us landless peasants. Justice has to come. I don’t know how many years will pass before justice appears. But I am convinced that at some point, justice will be served.”
To contact and for more information:
Rights Action dossier on the Nueva Linda case (In Spanish): Masacre en Nueva Linda: Caso Abierto.
Versión en español aquí.