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 President Barack Obama views Alaska's monumental Exit Glacier, in a bid to drive home the impact of climate change....
Pope tells priests to pardon women who have abortions
Pope Francis on Tuesday called on priests to pardon women who have abortions, and the doctors who perform them, during the upcoming Jubilee year - overruling hardline traditionalists within the Catholic Church....
Yahoo CEO says she
Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer revealed Tuesday she is expecting identical twin girls but will only take "limited time away" from running the Internet giant....
Obama says world must speed climate change fight
US President Barack Obama warned Monday that climate change is no longer a problem of the future, but rather a challenge for now and one that will define the next century....
Migrant trains arrive in Austria as crisis deepens
Trains packed with migrants arrived in Austria's capital on Monday where 20,000 people turned out to show their support for the new arrivals, as Europe struggled to cope with the biggest movement of people since World War II....
Six soldiers killed in DR Congo ambush
Six Congolese soldiers were killed on Monday in the Democratic Republic of Congo''s North Kivu province, a region where Rwandan Hutu rebels have been blamed for many massacres, military sources said....
Are poor parliamentary debates a result of removal of school debates?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter