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“As part of a social movement that works in defense of a territory, we’ve been victims of these attacks”, said Carlos Muralles of CEIBA – Friends of the Earth Guatemala at the workshop on Human Rights Defenders carried out at the Biennial General Assembly of Friends of the Earth International.
In his intervention, he described the difficult situation that the social movements and organizations of his country are experiencing, who suffer indiscriminate violence to open way to large sugarcane companies that produce ethanol, transnational metal mining companies or hydroelectric projects whose aim is not to benefit communities.
Especially CEIBA, which in early 2012 had its office in Huehuetenango broken into. Several computers were stolen and its facilities were destroyed in a clear sign of violence to silence the activism committed to the communities.
Precisely this November 13th, an International Mission organized by FoEI will visit communities in Guatemala and El Salvador and will aim to expose the State violence under Otto Perez Molina’s administration.
The mission includes recently elected FoEI’s Chair, Jagoda Munic, from Croatia, and human and environmental rights activists from Spain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Philippines, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras and Uruguay.
It will travel through several regions of Guatemala and will visit the seven political prisoners struggling for their freedom after being imprisoned during the State of Emergency declared in Santa Cruz Barillas, in May, 2012, as a response to the community’s rejection to the building of a megadam.
In addition, the cases of resistance against mining company Goldcorp, Marlin and Barrick Gold in San Jose del Golfo will be documented. The tour will take place in coordination with the Mesoamerican Movement against Metal Mining (M4) and local groups FoE CEIBA and CESTA.
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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