You are invited you to join us for a conversation with Teresa Muñoz, who has been impacted by abuses linked to Tahoe Resources’ mine in Guatemala.
Monday, November 17, 2014
5:30 – 7:00 pm
1100 15th Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
Featuring: Teresa Muñoz, Guatemalan farmer; Angela J. Bunch, Extractive Industries Program Officer, Oxfam America; Kathryn Johnson from the Guatemala Human Rights Commission; and Lindolfo Carballo from Casa Maryland.
Teresa Muñoz is part of the local movement that defends the rights to life and a healthy environment from the threats posed by Tahoe Resources’ mine in Guatemala. As reprisal for her peaceful activism, she was wrongfully accused of several crimes and had to go into hiding for seven months until the charges were dropped. Besides being a committed environmental activist and a community leader in Jalapa, she is an active member of her local parish and cares for her disabled sister. Teresa is a passionate farmer who loves her small farm, and whose livelihood depends on selling the milk and cheese she produces from her two cows.
On May 2, 2013, the government declared a “State of Siege” in several municipalities that were opposed to a proposed expansion of the mining project. Army troops arrived in numbers neither Teresa nor the community had ever seen in their territory. They were looking for her. She didn’t know exactly why. The only thing she knew is that she had to flee into the mountains, into the forest she knew so well. She walked for around 70 km (43 miles) until she reached Guatemala City. She stayed in hiding for seven months.
Human rights defenders like Teresa have been criminalized and persecuted in Guatemala. It is a risky place to speak up. “If you tell the truth about the injustices that the government and the mining companies commit … it has its consequences,” she says. “Many leaders have lost their lives because they spoke the truth. And I know that at any moment it could happen to me, too.”