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Jan 9, 2008

O.A.S. confirms relocation of Santa Rosa

Story PictureJust in case you had your doubts about the evacuation of Guatemalans from the illegal settlement of Santa Rosa, the Organization of American States has confirmed what our own Foreign Ministry has been saying since last week. That is, on January fourth the first eight families began to move to new homes in Guatemala near the town of Poptun in Peten. These photos supplied by the O.A.S. document the relocation process. Nine more families remain to be moved to the site, a farm purchased using funds raised by the O.A.S. The release quotes O.A.S. Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin as saying that the O.A.S. General Secretariat is committed to (quote) “conclude this project as soon as possible.” Financial support for the Santa Rosa Community Resettlement Project came from the governments of Mexico, U.S.A. Spain, U.K. and Turkey. The Guatemalans began settling the area on the Belize side of the border almost fifteen years ago, and while other more recent squatter incursions were dealt with by Belizean security forces, the Santa Rosa settlement was left to be handled by diplomatic means under the O.A.S. brokered Confidence Building Agreement signed by Belize and Guatemala in September of 2005.

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