Guatemala to Repatriate 40 Refugee Families

June 18, 2004

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP) – TheGuatemalan government this weekannounced it will attempt to repatriate 40Guatemalan families that have been livingin Bolivia as war refugees since the 1980s.The families fled Guatemala in 1983and sought refugee status in Bolivia,where the United Nations High RefugeeCommission granted them 30 hectares ofland for cultivation north of the economiccapital of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.The plight of the forgotten refugeeswas recounted in the Bolivian daily newspaperEl Deber, prompting theGuatemalan government to announce itwould try to repatriate the families.The 36-year civil war in Guatemalacaused an estimated 200,000 deaths anddisplaced some 50,000 refugees, most ofwhom now live in Mexico.

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