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Guatemala’s Top Stories: January 1-8, 2013

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A new residential development in Guatemala offers modern, walkable neighborhoods and homes away from the fear of gangs and violence. Unfortunately, these homes are only available to Guatemala’s ultra-wealthy and far removed from the masses, reports the Associated Press.

The New York Times reports on increasing food prices in Guatemala and small farmer’s struggle to maintain their crops and provide for their families. The cause? U.S. biofuel policies that increase corn prices while corporate interests take up crop land to produce corn or sugar to meet U.S. biofuel demand.

Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz is one of our idols here at RWI, and the Los Angeles Times has a profile on this admirable woman who has consistently been a powerful advocate for human rights and justice.

Guatemala has petitioned the U.S. to grant Temporary Protected Status to the over 1.5 million Guatemalan living in the U.S. Protected status would allow these immigrants to stay in the U.S. for up to 18 months without fear of deportation while Guatemala recovers from the recent earthquake and natural disasters that have cost the country millions.

Check out these Guatemala Times photos on their efforts to conserve the nature and wildlife surrounding Lake Atitlan. The Times has been planting trees around the lake for years to slow encroaching environmental degradation and their efforts have caught on in recent years.

Although Guatemala has some of the highest rates of murder and violence in the world, the homicide rate has dropped for the third year in a row,  a nearly nine percent decrease from the previous year, reports Reuters.

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