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Amid an intense and long tour through Europe, women activists from Guatemalan environmentalist and feminist organizations arrived to Galicia, Spain, where this Tuesday, April 30th, they will participate in an action to denounce transnational company Hidralia Energía SA, responsible for human rights violations in Santa Cruz Barillas municipalities.
The activists are CEIBA- FoE Guatemala coordinator, Natalia Atz, and Paula Irene del Cid Vargas of the feminist group "La Cuerda", also from that country. In Galicia they’ll meet with several social and political organizations raising awareness on Hidralia’s actions (or Hidro Santa Cruz as is known in Guatemala).
Tuesday will mark the first anniversary of the state of emergency declared in Santa Cruz Barillas municipality, which resulted in the death of a leader and tens of people arbitrarily arrested by the company’s staff. At noon, in Spain, there will be a public action outside the company’s headquarters, although the activity will continue throughout the day, said Mariola Mourelo of Feminismo Coruña to Real World Radio.
The action will take place in a significant square of Galicia, a few meters from the company’s headquarters. Mariola highlighted that the company has a “criminal background” in its own country with charges against it for trafficking of influences.
Hidralia’s owner, Luis Castro Valdivia, appeared in the local media in 2007 together with his brother-in-law, Ramon Ordas Badia, after accusations of trafficking of influence related to the concession of wind farms and small power plants.
Hidralia Energía SA is part of the Spanish Official Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala, an entity financed by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain, which grants it a strategic position in terms of the Guatemalan authorities.
Mariola highlighted the importance of having Latin American presence in Spain to expose the “other face” of the Spanish companies. “We need to raise awareness on the situations experienced in both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and learn from each other to figure out how to confront this neoliberal system that is affecting both the people from this country and the people from other countries as well”, said Mariola.
“The community resistance in Latin American countries is an important example for us. We have a lot to learn from the South and very little to teach. It is truly a gift to have our friends from Barillas here", she concluded.
La oposición a la minería debe entenderse como la lucha por los derechos que esa actividad no respeta, pues “cada derecho que se le otorga a una empresa, es un derecho que se le resta a una comunidad”, asegura el coordinador del Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina (OCMAL), César Padilla.
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