Fotos: Comunidades de San José del Golfo nuevamente bajo ataque

ImageImage El líder comunitario Álvaro Sandoval da declaraciones a los medios.

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Bomba lacrimogena utilizada por la PNC en contra de la población, varios niños y niñas sufrieron intoxicación.

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ImageGobernación desplegó entre 400 y 500 antimotines y agentes de la PNC y más de 60 radiopatrullas para realizar el desalojo.ImageImageOrganizaciones de Derechos Humanos: GHRC, OACNUDH, PDH y Fundación Sobrevivientes, escuchan los planteamientos de las comunidades.

GHR_4120Yolanda Oquelí dialoga con el viceministro de seguridad, Edy Byron Juárez Prera, para buscar una solución pacífica al conflicto provocado por la presencia de los antimotines.

GHR_3960Yolanda sintiéndo la presión de proteger a los hombres, mujeres, niños y niñas de la resistencia.

GHR_4165GHR_4176Para evitar el desalojo violento inminente, se permitió la presencia de 15 agentes antimotines en la entrada de la mina. Sin embargo, la resistencia de las comunidades a la minería se mantiene.

GHR_4207La comunidad celebra la liberación de Milton y los otros tres hombres injustamente arrestados por la PNC.

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Communities in Resistance in San Jose del Golfo under attack.

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Women at the roadblock pray and sing as the face off against anti-riot police. (photo: Marcha Indigena Campesina y Popular)

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Women lay down in the road continuing their resistance after suffering from tear gas exposure. (Photo: Marcha Indigena Campesian y Popular)

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The police lined up in three rows, with the largest in front, the tear gas lauchers behind them, and a group with batons and sticks behind them. (photo: Centro de Medios Independientes Guatemala)

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In response to the threat of eviction, women’s organizations gathered in front of the Interior Ministry demanding a peaceful settlement to the problem.

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A “dialogue table” was called at the site of the roadblock including government representatives, community members, and human rights defenders, including GHRC’s Rob Mercatante. (photo: Radio Punto)

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Alberto Brunori of the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights was also present. (photo: Radio Punto)

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At the end of the day, the government agreed to remove the majority of the police, but leave 15 to “guard the mine.” (photo: Marcha Indigenia Campesina y Popular)

On December 7th,  the communities in resistance to mining in San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc held their ground at the roadblock they have maintained since March of this year as the police attempted to forcefully evict them.

At 6am, anti-riot police arrived at the roablock in San Jose del Golfo and began tearing down the banners and other installations. They also arrested at least 5 people for supposedly obstructing the road, though the protesters have only been blocking the entrance of mining equipment, not other traffic.

Police shot tear gas at the protesters, which include children and men and women of all ages. Several people, including two young girls, have been treated for tear gas exposure.

Despite this aggression, the peaceful protesters have held their ground. They  laid down on the street with makeshift masks covering their faces, and sang hymns to give themselves courage. Meanwhile, the police tore apart the makeshift kitchen that the protesters have been using to feed themselves, and stole food and water.

the office of the Human Rights Ombudsman, present on the scene, suggested opening a dialogue between the protesters and the government, but the government rejected the idea. Interior Minister Lopez Bonilla was quoted as saying that there could well be more arrests, and that the police would keep using force if need be to open access for the mining company.

Attorney Sergio Vives explained that the actions of the police are illegal, as there is no order for the eviction of the communities. 

Please contact the Guatemalan government to express your concern for these peaceful protesters and demand that those detained are accorded all their legal rights. 

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Three pieces of breaking news at the end of the day.

1) Those detained at the roadblock this morning have been freed. They were taken to the city, but the judge there rejected their case and sent it back to the Judge of the Peace in San Pedro Ayampuc.

2) The government has agreed to remove the majority of the police from the roadblock. 15 of them will stay over the weekend to “guard the mine” but the rest of them will leave for now.

3) In statements directly contradicting this, the Interior Minister announced in a press conference that the government will take the steps necessary to open the road to the mine. He also insultingly accused “international organizations” of inciting the community members and said that those guilty of incitation would be expelled.

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La Puya, San José del Golfo, 13 de noviembre de 2012

El 13 de noviembre de 2012,  trabajadores de la minera Progreso VII Derivada, de la empresa Kappes, Cassiday & Associates -“KCA”, llegaron frente a población de San José del Golfo, que desde marzo pasado se encuentran en resistencia pacífica al frente de la entrada de la mina, los trabajadores mineros llegaron con la decisión de ingresar, provocando a la población. Sin embargo se encontraron con hombres y mujeres firmes en su decisión de defender su tierra y territorio de la minería.

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De casco amarillo Pablo Orozco, coordinador del grupo de supuestos trabajadores de la minera. Junto a él, de camisa blanca Selvin Morales, ex ministro de Energía y Minas durante el gobierno de Álvaro Colom y ahora presidente de Servicios Mineros y de gorra verde el coronel Mario Ricardo Figueroa Archila, gerente de Exmingua, subsidiaria de KCA.

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Al final de la tarde los mineros se retiraron del lugar.Imagen

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Al término de la jornada líderes comunitarios toman la palabra.

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Winner of 2012 Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defender Award Announced

We are proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defender Award: The communities of San Pedro Ayampuc and San José del Golfo, who are peacefully defending their right to a healthy environment.
“Mining exploitation is contamination. Don’t sell your land. Yes to life!” (photo:mimundo.org)
For the past five months, members of these communities have bravely stood up to powerful, transnational corporations who are attempting to build a mine in their midst without consulting residents or even providing information about the project.
Men, women and children have banded together in the spirit of non-violent civil disobedience to block the road and prevent the equipment from entering and destroying the land that is their home and their livelihoods. They have faced death threats, and a nearly fatal assault on one of their members, Yolanda Oquelí.
Come hear two members of the communities, Alvaro Sandoval Palencia and Antonio Reyes Romero, speak about their inspiring struggle at our 30th Anniversary Celebration on September 27th.
Don’t miss out on this amazing event. Buy your tickets now!
Where it says “Enter a description below of how you would like your donation to be used.” be sure to write that the payment is to purchase tickets to the event.More information about how to buy tickets here or email us at ghrc-usa@ghrc-usa.org.