(AFP) — A community of 230 Orthodox Jews from several countries Thursday began leaving the Guatemalan Indian village where they have lived for six years after claims and counterclaims of discrimination and threats.
Their exit from San Juan La Laguna, on the banks of Lake Atitlan and 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the capital Guatemala City, follows a meeting Wednesday in which Jewish and indigenous representatives failed to reach an agreement.
They had received threats, Santos said.
Most members of the small Jewish community are from the United States, Israel, Britain and Russia, and around 40 are Guatemalan. Approximately half are children.
Since October, the local indigenous population has accused the Orthodox Jews of discriminating against them and of violating Mayan customs.
The Council of Indigenous Elders said the Jewish community “wanted to impose their religion” and was undermining the Catholic faith that is predominant in the village.