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David Eduardo Pacay Maas and Hageo Isaac Guitz, two Maya q’eqchies children of 11 and 13 years old of Monte Olivo community, in Alta Verapaz department died by bullet injuries caused by a hitman “hired” by the company Hidro Santa Rita SA in an attempt to kill one of the community leaders of the resistance to the project, David Chen.
There is government’s complicity in the murder of innocent people. There is a parallelism between the era of Efrain Rios Montt regime in the 80s and Otto Perez Molina’s current administration.
David Eduardo Pacay Maas and Hageo Isaac Guitz, two Maya q’eqchies children of Monte Olivo community in Alta Verapaz department died by bullet injuries caused by a hitman “hired” by Hidro Santa Rita, when it was attempting to kill the leader of the resistance to the hydroelectric porject David Chen.
David died instantly on August 23rd, while Hageo died in hospital on August 26th.
Carmelina Chocooj member of the delegation of solidarity with the victim families talked to Real World Radio when she was taking the victims’ bodies back to Monte Olivo community.
Hidro Santa Rita SA has a long record of crime and illegal action, which involve paramilitary forces, state officials and non governmental organizations that work for the company.
The building of the Project implies destroying the river Dolores and the basin of River Chixoy, threatening 23 Mayan communities, which are nearly 10,000 families, nearly 200,000 people in total, said Carmelina.
Since 2010, the communities have expressed and documented their rejection to the Project based on ILO’s 169 Convention that requires prior, free and informed consultation to carry out these megaprojects.
The company, under the protection of the Guatemalan government and the judiciary, has moved forward with the Project.
REDLAR meeting and new arrests
The murder of the two children, after which noone has been arrested, happened at times when two members of Santa Cruz Barillas (which is also resisting a hydroelectric Project) who spent two months in prison last year without being found guilty, were arrested and taken to Santa Eulalia prison in Huehuetenango.
They are Antonio Rogelio Velásquez and Saúl Aurelio Méndez, whose lives are under threat. In October, there will be an International Meeting of the Latin American Network in Defense of Rivers and Against Dams (REDLAR).
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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