Press release: La Puya in Nevada

June 26, 2013

Virginia City, NV— This Thursday, groups from Nevada and Guatemala will come together to highlight the damage that mining threatens to cause in both places.

The Comstock Residents Association, in partnership with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Great Basin Resource Watch, and the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, will host Alvaro Sandoval Palencia, a representative from “La Puya” Guatemala. Together they will picket the annual shareholder’s meetings of Comstock Mining Incorporated (CMI) to highlight unethical mining practices carried out by CMI and related companies.

La Puya is a group of community activists from San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, Guatemala, who have peacefully blocked the road which passes through their communities leading to the site of the proposed “El Tambor” mine. El Tambor is owned by a subsidiary of the Nevada based company, Kappes, Cassiday and Associates.

According to Sandoval Palencia, “We are not against progress. We are simply questioning the price that we have to pay for this development. We’re fighting for our rights, which are not respected either by the multinational companies or by the Guatemalan Government.”

Members of La Puya have suffered violent retaliation throughout the last year, including the near fatal shooting of one community leader, Yolanda Oquelí, last June.

Activities on Thursday will include a Cantastoria street theater event titled, “A Tale of Two Communities.”

The Comstock Residents Association is a community focused public interest group representing the residents of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City and Dayton, with a common interest in preserving the integrity and sustainability of the Virginia City National Historic Landmark and the quality of life in the Comstock communities it embraces. The Association opposes the large-scale industrial open-pit mining that Comstock Mining Incorporated plans to carry out in the Historic Landmark.

According to CRA spokesman Joe McCarthy, “La Puya, Guatemala is our sister community and we have suffered similar experiences with these two companies, both based in Nevada. Both just barged right into our communities, then asked for forgiveness, not permission, to conduct surface mining in close proximity to our homes. Both engage in full-steam ahead operations without legitimate impact studies. They show no regard for the people and are focused on profit at our expense and our governments have allowed this to happen.”

Alvaro and Tono accepting the Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defenders Award

Alvaro and Tono accepting the Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defenders Award

CRA website:

For more information on San Jose and San Pedro, click here.

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