For the past nine months, men, women and children from San José del Golfo, San Pedro Ayampuc and their surrounding communities have maintained a constant, non-violent presence in protest of the onset of mining activities in their territories. Beginning on Tuesday, November 13, an estimated 70 people claiming to be mine employees arrived at the site of the blockade, demanding the right to work. The group attempted to provoke the population, and thus open the door for intervention from public and private security forces.
Community members join arms at “La Puya”, San José del Golfo. (Photo via C.P.R. Urbana)
Testimonies from community members state there is strong evidence to suggest that those involved in the workers’ protest are being paid for their participation by Exmingua S.A., the Guatemalan subsidiary of the US company, Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA). The communities in resistance, social organizations and the independent media denounce the participation of the company in these acts of provocation, violence and intimidation.
Press conference at which 25 social organizations pledge support for pacific resistance at “La Puya” (Video via C.P.R. Urbana)
At the time of this writing, hundreds of mine personnel, including at least one ex-military officer, continue to violently threaten the blockade in their attempts to forcefully enter the mine site. More than 200 people continue to maintain the pacific resistance, arms linked, often singing songs and saying prayers, as the company’s strategy of intimidation and provocation moves into its eighth day.
Please take a moment to join in demanding protection for the communities in resistance in San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc.
For more information on repression against peaceful resistance in San José del Golfo see previous NISGUA blog post, URGENT ACTION: Activist Yolanda Oquelí attacked on her way home