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Big landowners block Guatemala development law

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An “integral rural development law” to promote access to land, employment and other rights for small farmers is bogged down in the Guatemalan Congress due to opposition from large landowners, who see it as an attempt at land reform.

“The bill contains 10 proposals that would contribute particularly to development for women and indigenous rural communities,” activist Irene Barrientos, of the Committee of Campesino (small farmer) Unity, told IPS.

“The rights to land and clean water, and the promotion of economic, social and labour policies and food security” are addressed in the bill, which was defeated once again on Nov. 29 when it failed to win at least 105 votes in the 158-member single-chamber parliament, as required to pass legislation of “national urgency.”

Source: Inter Press Service