Ultra-Orthodox Jews say they're being forced from their village after disputes with indigenous resid
Published on Mar 29, 2021
Members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group said on Friday they were forced out of a village in western Guatemala after disputes with indigenous residents over cultural and religious differences.
Misael Santos of the Lev Tahor community said the Jewish group started leaving San Juan La Laguna on Friday after the town's Elders Council voted to kick them out.
Santos said that there were 230 members of the Jewish community living in the lakeside village and that some had been in the town for six years.
Others arrived earlier this year from Canada, where they face a child removal case.
The town's Elders Council voted last week to force the group to leave because they say some members of the sect have mistreated indigenous residents and tourists in the area, accusation which Santos denies.
However, Pedro Vasquez, the spokesperson for the town's Elders Council, said on Friday he didn't know why the group was leaving.
"I have just found out that they are already leaving, so this is a surprise," Vasquez said.
"I can only imagine that the Attorney General will have to officially notify us," he added.
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