...and miles to go before we sleep: Toiras Jesed and Lev Tahor in Guatemala.

Update: June 20th 2016 Guatemalan mayor indicted for expelling Jewish sect.

Translation of the article: Judíos: “Es el alcalde, no la población. Por Sergio Osegueda | Diario Digital | August 22nd 2014.

Jews: "it is the Mayor, not the population." By Sergio Osegueda | Diario Digital | August 22nd 2014.

The Council of Elders of San Juan la Laguna, Sololá, decided to expel from its territory, the Jewish community which had been located in that place for eight years. The Jews claim to have nowhere to go.

Misael Santos, Toiras Jesed Community
With less than a 24-hour deadline, the Council of Elders of San Juan la Laguna, Sololá, approved the expulsion of 200 Jews from their municipality this Friday, considering that they are a risk to the population, since through social networking they have made accusations against the inhabitants of San Juan la Laguna.

Before the decision, Toiras Jesed community representative, Misael Santos, stated that "they have no place where to go and, if we do not leave today, they have threatened to come to cut water and electricity".

The Jewish community, which has been living for eight years in San Juan la Laguna, is concerned, mainly for the children. More than half of Toiras Jesed are minors. "We as adults, we are up and ready to take to tents, but what of the children and their needs?", said Santos.

Political problem

The problem is not the population of San Juan la Laguna, according to Santos, since many are against their departure from the place. "It is a phantom Committee set up by the Mayor, when they held the meeting. This group notified us  and the notes have no stamp, or signature or anything," he said.

The representative of the Jewish community expressed the view that "it is the mayor, who since several months ago is pressing to get the community out of the village as it has no political party to support it."

The Jewish community said that they have detected that part of the population that supports the Chief Mayor is being coerced. The threats are the dispossession of their land or their homes; they end up supporting out of fear.

Diario Digital tried to establish communication with the Mayor Rodolfo López, but calls were not answered.

Racist messages

"Unfortunately have detected in the speeches of the Governor of Sololá and the Mayor of San Juan la Laguna, racist messages against this community," said the Presidential Commissioner against Discrimination and Racism, María Trinidad Gutiérrez.

A month ago was the creation of a roundtable dialogue was initiated to find a solution to a possible social conflict, according to the Commissioner, since part of the population supports the Jewish community and the other wants it to go.

"We have to determine what their immigration status, and then who accuses them of dishonest acts. Meanwhile, we should also not be subject to discriminatory attitudes", said Gutiérrez.

However, while it is expected that they will be evicted today, the Commissioner said they still hope to be able to engage in the roundtable dialogue. "We are following the problem very closely and if we detect racist and discriminatory acts, we will submit appropriate complaints," she concluded.

Translation of the article: Judíos expulsados denuncian discriminación. POR JOSÉ M. PATZÁN | Prensa Libre | 29/08/2014.
Expelled Jews denounce discrimination. By José M. Patzán | Prensa Libre | 29/08/2014.
Members of an ultra orthodox Jewish group expelled from San Juan La Laguna, Sololá, due to differences with the villagers were relocated yesterday temporarily in a building in Zone 9 in the capital, while awaiting the progress of two complaints of threats and discrimination brought to the Public Prosecutor against the Council of Elders of that town.

Representatives of Toiras Jesed community lodged two complaints with the Attorney, in which they argue that they were subjected to situations, such as threats, disconnected piped water and electricity.

They relocate

During yesterday morning, team members relocated to a building in Zone 9 which years before had accommodated the Directorate General of Immigration.

Uriel Goldman, one of the representatives of the group said they will remain temporarily in the building while finding an area outside the capital, because it is not an appropriate site for 30 families. He added that they had rented six floors and an adjoining house, where they will locate 200 people, including adults and children.

Goldman explained that the rent will be paid with their savings and donations from people who have even provided them with vegetables and other foods.

About what happened in San Juan La Laguna, he said that they are at peace and grateful to the people of the community who supported them. "We had the right to stay, but we did not want to fight, we are men of peace," Goldman emphasised.

The group held a meeting last Wednesday with the Council of Elders of San Juan La Laguna and delegates from the Office of Human Rights, but did not reach an agreement, so they decided to leave.

Neighbors claim that Jews behaved so arrogant and were bathing naked at the public beach.

The Office of Human Rights had published a statement in which it rejects the threats against the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and describes the events in San Juan La Laguna as "humiliating and discriminatory."


230 people from the Jewish community were expelled from San Juan La Laguna.


Update on Toiras Jesed community in San Juan La Laguna, Sololá, Guatemala.

About the intention to expel the Jewish community of San Juan La Laguna, Sololá. Communication. Ombudsman of Human Rights, August 22nd 2014.

Your true enemy lives in your own house.

Statement of the Association of the Jewish Community of Guatemala, regarding the situation in San Juan Laguna, Sololá.

Lev Tahor: Coming in from the cold.

Lev Tahor Refugees: The Guatemalan Experience.