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The recent history of Guatemala doest not cease to surprise. Despite the change in the governments and successive presidents, the violence against the peasant and indigenous communities is scary. Daniel Pascual, leader of the Latin American Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC-Via Campesina) explained this during his speech as part of the act of solidarity held in “El Cipres”.
Pascual said repression “is part of imposing the neoliberal model, from evictions, to prosecutions, to threats, arrests and violent murders”.
He cited the recent massive eviction in 2011 in Valle del Polochic by a sugar cane company, where three indigenous peasants were killed, and houses and crops were burned down. Besides, the recent massacre in Totonicapán where eight Maya indigenous were murdered, while others were killed in Santa Cruz Barillas.
The main aspect of Otto Perez Molina’s administration (a retired army general) is precisely the military that answer to a repressive aim, which tried to legitimize itself by increasing the budget and the power of the armed forces, said Pascual.
One of the pillars of the communities organized in the “48 cantons” to block several roads of the Inter-American route in early October, was their opposition to a constitutional reform that aims to legalize the militarization of Perez Molina’s administration.
“We are very aware that we are undergoing a re-militarization process in the country in order to control the resistance”, said Pascual.
Before his speech, a survivor of the Totonicapan massacre, Juana Bats Puak of the National Coordination of Widows of Guatemala gave her testimony. She spoke with Real World Radio during the 1st Continental Assembly of CLOC.
Photo: Escuela Obrero Campesina “Francisco Morazán”, ATC Nicaragua
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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