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Guatemala: Investigation Into Squatter Violence

Guatemala: UN Calls For Investigation Into Squatter Violence

The United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) has called on the country's authorities to launch a thorough investigation into Tuesday's deadly violence surrounding the eviction of squatters from a farm in the southern province of Retalhuleu.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Mission noted that key to this probe will be an examination of the alleged kidnapping and disappearance of a peasant farmer named Héctor René Reyes in the same area a year ago.

Further, MINUGUA called for a thorough investigation of human rights abuses which took place during this week's eviction, including alleged extrajudicial killings and intimidation against journalists.

The UN urged peasant workers, landowners and the Guatemalan authorities to refrain from inflammatory statements and to focus on the promotion of a rural development policy.

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