Security and Dignity: Land Access and Guatemala’s Returned Refugees


  • Paula Worby Independent



Guatemala, refugees, return, repatriation, land recovery, land access, reintegration, community organizing


This article addresses land recovery and access to new land for returning Guatemalan refugees as a way of exploring the nuances and complexities of a repatriation operation often judged a best-case scenario. It argues that the returnees who fared best in obtaining land did so because of their visible organization and ties to international organizations that intervened on their behalf. The positive examples of land access notwithstanding, a number of unresolved problems regarding land use and titling remain. Furthermore, land in itself is insufficient for social and economic reintegration if the larger context of sustainable and regional development is not addressed.


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How to Cite

Worby, P. (2001). Security and Dignity: Land Access and Guatemala’s Returned Refugees. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 19(3), 17–24.

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