The National Police, at the service of US mining company Kappes Cassiday and Associates (KCA), have been carrying out acts of intimidation and threatening eviction against communities in resistance at La Puya, just north of Guatemala City. Early April 9, a local company contracted by KCA, Transmac S.A., arrived at the mine site with heavy machinery, and with a National Civil Police (PNC) escort as ordered by the Ministry of the Interior. By mid-day, Transmac was forced to remove the machinery from the area. However, two representatives of KCA’s local subsidiary, EXMINGUA, remained throughout the day. The police presence also stayed and increased. By 2 pm, there were roughly 300 agents, many of whom were women dressed in full riot gear, lined up outside the entrance to the peaceful encampment.
The massive police presence, particularly the presence of female agents, gave the impression that an eviction attempt was imminent. Hundreds of people gathered at La Puya spent the afternoon under intense pressure and fear. While an arrest warrant was never emitted and the PNC made no attempt to remove the encampment, there is a clear intent to intimidate and provoke confrontation with the population in peaceful resistance.
The communities opposing KCA’s El Tambor gold mine have made clear that their actions are focused on stopping a project that will destroy their lives and livelihoods. They are not blocking the public road or impeding free transit. The communities maintain their willingness to dialogue with the government.
Excessive police presence continues in areas surrounding La Puya and there is concern that a violent eviction will be attempted in the near future.
Call and email Kappes Cassiday and Associates CEO, Dan Kappes, and the Ministry of the Interior in Guatemala now:
- Express your concern for the safety of the men, women and children in peaceful resistance;
- Demand an end to intimidation and harassment by police and private security, and respect for human rights;
- Urge respect for the ongoing dialogue and No to eviction of La Puya.
Ministry of the Interior
Minister Mauricio López Bonilla – firstname.lastname@example.org
Guatemala Phone (011) 502-2413-8888