A photo essay of the marcher’s culminating protest. Movement leaders have issued a press statement, a “Declaration of the March for Resistance and Dignity, in Defense of the Earth and Territory,” in which they have made the demands for the legalization of community radio, an end to industrial mining and agricultural concessions and violence, and an end to government imposed agrarian debt – reiterations of longstanding grievances of the Indigenous and campesinos in Guatemala
After 9 days and 212 kilometers, the Indigenous, Campesino and Popular March for the defense of Mother Earth, against evictions, criminalization, and in favor of Integrated Rural Development, arrived to the center of the Capital City. According to members of the Committee for Campesino Unity (CUC), it is estimated that about 15,000 people participated in the ninth and final day of the march.
“Approval of the bills in Congress benefiting poor and Indigenous communities, including Bill 4087, the Law for Community Media, that would legalize community radio. Cancellation of the concessions for mining, petroleum, hydroelectric, and mono-culture agriculture. End to persecution and criminalization of Indigenous people fighting for their rights, including the 8 Indigenous women of San Miguel Ixtahuacán who have orders for capture for speaking out against the Marlin Mine. Termination of forced relocations, in particular the ongoing problem in the Polochic Vally, Alta Verapaz, where hundreds of families were violently evicted from their homes to make way for African palm and sugar plantations in March of 2011. Elimination of agrarian debt imposed by the state on farmers; a just redistribution of land, allowing farmers at least a terrain to provide subsistence crops.”