We meet Rosalía in a roadside café in a dusty town in the Quiché department, in Guatemala’s Western Highlands. She lowers her voice whenever people come in – you never know who might be listening. Land is sensitive stuff, especially in Quiché, a region that still bears, perhaps more than any other part of Guatemala, the scars of the civil war (1960-1996) – as we will see. In 2018 alone, 15 defenders of land rights in Guatemala have been killed with total impunity, several of them in Quiché.
Sophorn Poch, Director of the Independent Mediation Organization (IMG), gives us some insights into his involvement with the Second Regional Land Forum as well as his hopes in terms of the Forum's outcomes.
First global benchmark for measuring and reporting land information aims to improve tenure security and enable fair compensation
The potential for conflicts related to large-scale land acquisitions could be cut down significantly if seven key pieces of information are included in every property transaction, land professionals say.
As members of the land community, we know that access to a stable and flourishing piece of land, even the smallest plot or parcel, has the potential to be ground-breaking and life-changing. It means the difference between health and illness, between being read and illiterate, and in the most extreme cases, the difference between being fed and hungry. In essence, it determines one’s life path, the key factor between qualifying for essential government services and living at the peripheries and margins of society.