Yesterday, after more than two years of non-violent resistance against a gold mine, the communities in resistance of “la Puya” were evicted from their blockade at the entrance to the mine.
Police arrived early in the morning to escort mining company trucks and heavy machinery. By the afternoon, hundreds of police – including many in full riot gear – moved in on the protesters
with tear gas and flash bombs, beating those who refused to move. Women formed the front lines of resistance. Over twenty people were injured.
Rob — the Director of our Guatemala office — was on the scene, documenting the eviction and denouncing acts of violence. His updates provided timely information that we used to advocate on behalf of the communities. Many of you probably saw the photos he posted to Facebook throughout the day. Photographer James Rodriguez has also posted a moving photoblog.
Your response to our call to action was overwhelming. The US company that owns the mine, Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) and the Guatemalan Embassy received many calls and emails.
Our efforts were ultimately unable to stop the eviction, but those at the Puya have already stated they are committed to continue their resistance to the mine. And we will continue to take action to support the communities’ rights.
GHRC has accompanied these brave activists for almost as long as the “Puya” has existed; many of you have visited the Puya on GHRC delegations and gotten to know the community leaders during visits to the US, Canada and Europe. Their commitment to ensuring a clean, healthy environment for future generations has been an inspiration to many in Guatemala and around the world.
Thank you for your ongoing solidarity with the men, women and children of the Puya.
All my best,