August 9, 2010. Rural organizations in Guatemala today commemorate the International Day of the Indigenous Pueblos. These organizations maintain that despite President Alvaro Colom’s claim that his government has “an indigenous face,” there have been few, if any, advances in human rights initiatives for the indigenous communities.
Indigenous leaders say that Mayan pueblos and communities are abandoned; roads have deteriorated; schools are neglected; the ratio of teachers to students remains untenable; water is unavailable; and destruction caused by hurricane Agatha has not been addressed.
Juan Tiney, representing the National Indigenous and Rural Committee (CONIC), states that: “In spite of the laws, this government does not want to support the indigenous communities because this represents a threat for the businessman. In the meantime, the indigenous pueblos are starving to death, discriminated against and incriminated for defending their lands.”