May 4th – May 10th
- Canadian mining company to begin operations in 2013. The Canadian Mining Company Tahoe Resources announced on May 3 that they will launch mining operations in San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa next year. Residents of nearby communities organized a march to show their opposition to exploitative mining operations.
- Regional Security Plan launched. On May 4, member states of the Central American Integration System agreed on launching six projects as part of the Regional Security Plan. These projects are backed by $80 million from the European Union and Spain. The projects include modifications in the training of judges and in the recruitment of prison guards as well as changes in security posts along the country’s borders.
- Continuous arrests in Santa Cruz as part of state of siege. A contingent of more than 200 military and 450 police forces was sent to Santa Cruz Barillas after the declaration of the state of siege on May 1. Since then, seventeen community members have been arrested. The state of siege was declared after 200 men armed with machetes and guns took over the military post in Santa Cruz, Barillas as a response to attacks on civilians which left two wounded and one dead. Pablo Antonio Pablo Pablo, one of the survivors of the attack, recounts that he was on his way back home from church when a man he believes to be a member of the hydroelectric company’s security staff opened fire on him. In the meanwhile, Fernando Rodriguez Alonso, a representative of the hydroelectric company, continues denying the involvement of his company in the attacks. Human rights and peasant organizations have tirelessly been voicing their opposition to the state of siege. During his visit to Santa Cruz Barillas on May 7 President Perez Molina stated that the government will not tolerate challenges to the rule of law.
- President Perez Molina accuses international organizations of being involved in the mob. According to the Guatemalan President, foreign individuals and organizations manipulate communities and push them to oppose hydroelectric and mining companies as reported on May 4.
- Congress ratifies state of siege in Barillas. On May 8, the majority of members of the Guatemalan Congress voted in favor of the state of siege which gives authorities permission to patrol the area of Barillas for 30 days. Members of 40 social organizations protested outside of Congress showing their opposition to the state of siege and demanded it be lifted and the detainees be released. While the state of siege is in place, police and military officials are granted the authority to search properties and arrest individuals without warrants. The state of siege also puts in place restrictions on the local communities limiting freedom of association and the right to bear arms.
- Continuous tensions between community members and mining company. Early in the morning on May 8 community members blocked the entrance of the El Tambor mine to keep workers of the mining company, backed by 400 agents of the National Civilian Police, from bringing machines into the mine. Residents of nearby communities have been protesting outside of the mine for 68 days to show their opposition to exploitative mining operations.
- State of Guatemala to be tried in femicide case. The Inter-American Court on Human Rights will try the state of Guatemala for denial of justice in the assassination of Maria Isabel Veliz in 2001 as reported by Prensa Libre on May 8. The death of Maria Isabel has become symbolic for impunity in femicide cases in the country.
- National Civilian Police offices in Guatemala City lack resources. Defective cars and motorcycles, insufficient cartridge and paper for printing reports and water supply are some of the problems faced by National Civilian Police agents in Guatemala City. On May 10 Prensa Libre reported that police officials and community members have criticized the government and police authorities for not providing sufficient resources.