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26 November 2012 | Testimonies | Water | International Tour in Solidarity with communities affected by mining megaprojects in Central America | Social activists at risk | Human rights | Extractive industries
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People hired by EXMINGUA company in La Puya, the resistance point in San Jose del Golfo, Guatemala, were responsible for insults, racist expressions, attacks and death threats against the communities who have been blocking the transnational corporations’ machinery for over nine months.
The workers of the company, subsidiary of US-Canadian Radius Corp, are provoking the community members who are resisting in a peaceful way. They also threatened the communicators who were documenting the event.
On November 22nd, these attacks ended up with several injured men and women, said Yolanda Oquelí, member of the group organizing the resistance and who, before the blockage, was shot by individuals identified with the company.
Yolanda’s testimony was gathered by members of the Guatemalan Federation of Radio Schools (FGER) present at the resistance point, and whose audio and video equipment with which they were documenting the events were almost stolen.
The Guatemalan Human Rights Platform (PDH) established a “zone zero” between the resistance point and the place occupied almost daily by the mining company’s workers, with a strong police presence, which wasn’t respected by the “miners”.
The mobilization by the community members of San Jose del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc is, by definition, peaceful and does not prevent neighbors and passers-by from circulating in a free way, but it remains alert to prevent the company’s heavy machinery from entering. The mining company is planning open-pit exploitation activities which will exhaust all water sources, already scarce, which make living and farming in the area possible.
Cyber-action for freedom
With reference to this, Friends of the Earth International is organizing a cyber-action in solidarity and for the immediate release of the political prisoners of Santa Cruz Barillas, also in Guatemala, who were illegally arrested during a state of emergency declared in May this year by Otto Perez Molina’s administration.
Cyber-action available here.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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