For Guatemalan Campesinos, the Civil War Continues

Compesino occupation of Nueva Linda finca plantation continues

| January 2005 Issue

RETALHULEU, Guatemala -- An infant girl lying on a paper-thin blanket in the dirty ditch next to the highway does nothing to hide the mosquito bites that cover her tiny legs. When she awakes from a feverish nap, an elder picks her up and turns away from me -- hoping, unsuccessfully, to keep the yellowish color of her eyes a secret.

But the presence of about one hundred Guatemalan campesino farmers squatting next to the Nueva Linda finca plantation, on the main highway that links Champerico on the Pacific Coast with the country's interior, is hardly a secret. Now that the Christmas holidays have passed without any action from the government to satisfy their demands, the campesinos are planning to occupy the plantation again.