In Guatemala, a history of discrimination and inequality of opportunity led to a 36-year conflict that finally subsided with a Peace Agreement in 1996. Improvements since then have prevented a return to conflict and begun to create the conditions for sustained stability. However, the persistence of substantial inequality constitutes a risk factor for future stability and constrains Guatemala’s growth potential.

Land distribution is highly unequal. The largest 2.5% of farms occupy nearly two-thirds of agricultural land while 90% of the farms are on only one-sixth of the agricultural land. Furthermore, tenure is insecure and is one of the key causes of poverty among indigenous Guatemalans, who make up 43% of the population. Multiple unresolved land disputes and ineffective mechanisms to resolve them discourage investment and reduce the potential contribution of agriculture to improvements in rural living standards and overall economic growth.

Guatemala’s extensive and biologically diverse forest systems are experiencing a rapid 1.3% annual rate of deforestation and losing their economic value due to forest fires, agricultural expansion, wildlife-poaching, and large-scale development projects. Increases in ongoing donor assistance to empower communities in resource management of this valuable forest system would help Guatemala achieve a greater, more sustainable yield from its forests and reduce the rate of deforestation.

Source of the narrative

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parts indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.


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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

Please, select year and panels to show the info.

    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.


    Latest News

    26 April 2017


    Rodrigo Tot is a 60-year-old farmer and an indigenous land rights activist from Guatemala. He represents an isolated, small Q’eqchi farming and fishing community of about 270 members in the long-running fight to secure legal ownership over their communal lands.

    Tot and his community stood up to the government and nickel miners expanding into their land in Agua Caliente.

    And now he's won one of the world's most prestigious activism awards, the Goldman Environmental Prize.

    3 February 2017

    By: Anastasia Moloney

    Date: 3 February 2017

    Source: Reuters

    Across Latin America just one percent of farms and estates control more than half of the region's productive land.

    Giving women access to land in Guatemala is key to forging lasting peace and tackling inequality, Nobel peace laureate Rigoberta Menchu said on Friday, in a country where land distribution is one of the most unequal in the world.

    20 January 2017

    Date: 18 January 2017

    Source: Telesur

    A peaceful demonstrator was shot dead during a protest in an Indigenous community.

    An activist was killed Tuesday in Guatemala during a clash between protesters and police at a demonstration led by Indigenous community members who oppose the construction of a hydroelectric plant in San Mateo Ixtatan, a municipality in the country's western highlands.



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 74
    September 2002

    Con el fin de apoyar la participación de las comunidades indígenas y locales en el aprovechamiento y manejo sostenible de los recursos naturales, el presente Acuerdo crea la Unidad de Políticas Mayas de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, la cual se encargará de promover los valores, prácticas y conocimientos existentes en el pueblo y comunidades mayas, en cuanto a la protección del ambiente y aprovechamiento sostenible de los recursos naturales.

    May 2008

    La presente Ley reconoce que las mujeres guatemaltecas tienen derecho al goce, ejercicio y protección de todos los derechos humanos y las libertades consagradas en la Constitución Política de la República e instrumentos internacionales en materia de derechos humanos.

    National Policies
    May 2006

    El presente documento tiene por objeto la política agraria de la República de Guatemala, de carácter multisectorial y alcance nacional. La política agraria está concebida como un componente del desarrollo rural integral, que recoge el conjunto de objetivos, acciones estratégicas e instrumentos, que en su conjunto, pretenden facilitar y ampliar el acceso a la tierra y alcanzar la certeza y seguridad jurídica sobre la tenencia, posesión y propiedad de la misma, con el fin de reducir los conflictos agrarios.

    Manuals & Guidelines
    December 2015

    Este estudio principalmente tiene el énfasis en el presupuesto destinado para las mujeres. Esperando que esté pueda contribuir a las organizaciones campesinas y de mujeres en el análisis, y propuestas para transformar las condiciones de vida de las poblaciones más vulneradas en el país, especialmente quienes habitan el área rural, donde hombres y mujeres aportan cada día con la producción y el desarrollo agrícola.

    Reports & Research
    December 2014

    La comunidad de Monseñor Romero se encuentra en la zona costera de Guatemala, región acaparada por los monocultivos de caña de azúcar, banano y palma africana. Para generar autoempleo, mejorar la fertilidad de sus tierras y evitar la explotación laboral de la agricultura industrial, la comunidad cambió sus cultivos tradicionales de maíz y ajonjolí por la producción orgánica de la flor de loroco (Fernaldia pandurata).