This morning, at 2:00 am, three large trucks and a machine that would serve to wash gold arrived at the El Tambor gold mine. Members of La Puya have once again moved to peacefully protest the entry of heavy machinery into the mine.
Those present at La Puya, working in shifts, managed to prevent entry of the machinery for at least an hour. However, unable to resist against the large number of police officers present, protesters eventually made way for the trucks to come through. As they entered, the four trucks destroyed the canvas tarp that served as a makeshift roof for members of La Puya.
At 8:00 am, large numbers of agents from the special force were arriving, blocking the entrance to La Puya and preventing other community members from joining the protest. By late morning, community members faced over 100 police officers. Seeking to avoid confrontation with security forces, members of La Puya allowed the withdrawal of the trucks which had entered the mine in the early morning — despite the fact that mining company employees apparently lack the municipal construction license required to work within the mine.
GHRC is deeply concerned about the current situation at La Puya, and implores the Guatemalan government to use the dialogue process, instead of force, in seeking a solution to this conflict.
Members of La Puya are asking for support, observation, and the presence of national and international press at the site.
GHRC will continue to provide updates as events occur.