World
Jewish community 'forced out' of Guatemalan village
Publish Date: Aug 29, 2014
Jewish community 'forced out' of Guatemalan village
Members of the Orthodox Jewish community attend a meeting with leaders of San Juan La Laguna community at the headquarters of the Human Rights Office in Guatemala City on August 27,2014. AFP PHOTO / Johan ORDONEZ
  • mail
  • img
newvision

GUATEMALA CITY - A community of 230 Orthodox Jews from several countries Thursday began leaving the Guatemalan Indian village where they have lived for six years after claims and counterclaims of discrimination and threats.


Their exit from San Juan La Laguna, on the banks of Lake Atitlan and 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the capital Guatemala City, follows a meeting on Wednesday in which Jewish and indigenous representatives failed to reach an agreement.


"We are a people of peace and in order to avoid an incident we've already begun to leave the village," Misael Santos, a representative from the Jewish community, told AFP.


They had received threats, Santos said.


"We have a right to be there, but they threatened us with lynching if we don't leave the village," he added.


Most members of the small Jewish community are from the United States, Israel, Britain and Russia, and around 40 are Guatemalan. Approximately half are children.


Since October, the local indigenous population has accused the Orthodox Jews of discriminating against them and of violating Mayan customs.


The Council of Indigenous Elders said the Jewish community "wanted to impose their religion" and was undermining the Catholic faith that is predominant in the village.


"We act in self-defense and to respect our rights as indigenous people. The (Guatemalan) constitution protects us because we need to conserve and preserve our culture," council spokesman Miguel Vasquez told AFP.


Related Stories

Gaza ceasefire splits Israel govt

Iran 'will arm Palestinians' after Israel drone downed

Israel triples intake of Ugandan students

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
US airstrikes kill Qaeda fighters in Syria
US-led air strikes killed 30 Al-Qaeda militants and eight civilians, including children, in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said...
Ebola cases to triple to 20,000 by November - WHO
THE number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by the thousands every week if efforts are not significantly stepped up to stop the outbreak...
Islam has been tarnished by "forces of darkness" and Saudi Arabia should do more to protect its youth from violent extremism....
Ukraine says won
Ukraine''s military said Sunday it would not pull back its troops from the frontline until all sides abide by a ceasefire under the terms of a new peace plan....
Two Iranians held in Kenya amid terror alert
AUTHORITIES in Kenya say they have arrested two men believed to be Iranian nationals transiting through the East African nation on fake passports...
Queen urges unity after Scotland votes
Queen Elizabeth II has called for "mutual respect" among Scots following a divisive campaign in a referendum that saw Scotland reject independence from the UK....
Do you think installing CCTV cameras in public places will help in the fight against terrorism?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter