(EVENT) Mining and its consequences for the environment in Guatemala and Latin America

The Hugo Chavez People’s Defense Front Southwest Canada Chapter

 invites to its ninth monthly Discussion Group

Mining and its consequences for the environment in Guatemala and Latin America
http://venezuelasolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/logo-hcpdf.jpg?w=159&h=154
 
Guest speaker: Sarita Galvez, member of the Mining Justice Alliance (MJA)
Date: Thursday, June 05th.
Place: Heartwood Café, 
317 Broadway E
Vancouver, BC V5T 1W5
Time: 7 pm
 
Free admission
Space is limited
Chávez Vive!

 

Please be aware this event is not going to be held at the Chilean Co-op as usual.

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MJA picket outside Radius Gold (May 26)

On May 26, the Mining Justice Alliance held a picket outside the offices of Radius Gold in downtown Vancouver. Radius Gold sold the controversial El Tambor mine to US-based Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA), however still retains a large interest in the project, which KCA has not yet paid for in full. 

The MJA stands in solidarity with the people of La Puya, who were violently evicted from their protest encampment on Friday after two years of peaceful protest.

 

La Puya demo 01

La Puya demo Vancouver 02

La Puya demo Vancouver 03

La Puya demo Vancouver 04

La Puya demo Vancouver 05

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Phone call to Kappes Cassidy regarding violence and invasion of heavy machinery at La Puya, Guatemala

Women of La Puya face off against riot police. 
We need your help! Early this morning a convoy of heavy machinery showed up at La Puya and tried to enter the site of the “El Tambor” Mine in San José del Golfo. As over 100 riot police and four trucks arrived, community members rushed to mobilize support to resist the aggression. The arrival of 100 additional riot police, the majority of whom are women, suggests that another eviction attempt may be imminent. Residents around the proposed site of the El Tambor Mine, owned by a subsidiary of Reno based Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, have been blocking the entrance of mining equipment to the site for over two years.
 
Please call Kappes, Cassiday & Associates right now at (775) 972-7575 and ask them to stop intimidating peaceful protesters and trying to force their way into the mine site. 
 
Recent attempts at negotiation were made this week, but ultimately stalled when the government refused to allow the negotiations to be recorded. The Vice-Minister of the Interior insinuated that the government had agreed to accompany the mine equipment because the dialogue was effectively “broken.” Community members at La Puya reiterate that they want to complete the negotiation process with the government, but with transparency.
  
On previous occasions, the Interior Ministry has sent hundreds of police officers including riot police from to accompany and protect the mine company’s machinery and try to force La Puya to allow the equipment into the site. In addition, four people were arrested and a forcible eviction was attempted without an order from an appropriate judge in December of 2012. In other conflicts, the Guatemalan police have used extreme force when evicting environmental activists, leading to grave injuries and even deaths. We fear that that this could happen again despite the protesters deep commitment to non-violence.
 
Please call Kappes, Cassiday & Associates at (775) 972-7575 now!
  • Express your concern for the safety of the men, women and children in peaceful resistance;
  • Demand an end to intimidation and harassment by police and private security, and respect for human rights;
  • Urge respect for the ongoing dialogue and No to eviction of La Puya.
Thank you!
 
In Peace and Solidarity,
 
Kathryn Johnson
GHRC/USA
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Townspeople being attacked in La Puya versus Vancouver/US owned mine right now

La Puya resistance to USA-Canadian mine in San Jose del Golfo, Guatemala, under attack by security forces right now. Numerous injuries, but most recent reports say people still holding the line against riot police trying to force heavy equipment into the mine site. Mine is currently owned by US-based KCA resources, but Vancouver-based Radius Gold (Suite 650, 200 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Tel: 604 801-5432), the mine site’s original “owner” still holds significant shares.
Alerte, difunda: Un gobierno dispuesto a todo para defender a una empresa minera

“Nos siguen tirando bombas lacrimógenas. Hay heridos y heridas. Los antimotines no respetan edad ni género. Niños y niñas están en medio. No hay ambulancias ni ninguna ayuda médica. Están lastimando a los ancianos.” – Prensa Comunitaria. (5 photos)

Prensa Comunitaria's photo.
Prensa Comunitaria's photo.
Prensa Comunitaria's photo.
Prensa Comunitaria's photo.
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Photo Essay: Ceremony In Honor Of The Lote 8 (El Estor) Struggle and Solidarity Visit (Rights Action)

[Part of a photo essay by Grahame Russell of Rights Action, who is currently leading a delegation of North Americans to Guatemala in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The group has been visiting communities resisting violent repression and environmental damage caused by multinational corporations, including a number of global mining companies.]

May 18

A Mayan Priest Celebrates A Ceremony In Honor Of The Lote 8 (El Estor) Struggle For Land And Justice, And For The Visit Of Rights Action / UNBC In Solidarity With The Q’eqchi’ People Of Lote 8

From the town of El EStor, we drove 2 hours in 4×4 pickups, to the top of the mountain range to the north of Lake Izabal, where, since the 1960s, a string of Canadian companies (INCO, Skye Resources, Hudbay Minerals) and now a Russian company (Solway Group) have used lies, corruption and repression to try and forcibly remove the Q’eqchi’ people from their historic lands, to get access to a vaste deposit of nickel ore.

From the end of the brutally rough road, we walk a further hour to arrive at the new community of Lote 8.  In 2007, 100s of small homes in Lote 8 were burned to the ground twice, by private security guards hired by Skye Resources (later bought out by Hudbay Minerals), and by police and soldiers.  11 women were gang-raped, during the second illegal eviction ~ a brutal tactic of community terrorization.

In 2011, the women filed a lawsuit in Canada with the Klippensteins law firm, one of three precedent setting lawsuits against Hudbay Minerals.

We were moved and honoured to be welcomed into Lote 8 by the community and to be invited to participate in their ceremony, led by a community elder.

Russell Photo Essay - Lote 8

See the whole photos essay here, on Rights Action’s website.

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Photo Essay: Mining, Repression, Resistance and Defense of Water and Community Well-being in “La Puya” (Rights Action)

[Part of a photo essay by Grahame Russell of Rights Action, who is currently leading a delegation of North Americans to Guatemala in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The group has been visiting communities resisting violent repression and environmental damage caused by multinational corporations, including a number of global mining companies.]

Mining and Repression Resistance and Defense of Water and Community Well-being in “La Puya”

May 14

At the “La Puya” site of peaceful resistance to the illegal and sometimes repressive mining interests of the American mining company Kappes and Cassidy Associates (KCA), formerly owned by the Canadian company Radius Gold, we eat lunch and get updated about the latest manipulations of the Guatemalan regime, headed up by former General Otto Perez Molina, to pressure the people of San Jose del Golfo and San Pedro Ayumpac to sit down and – as “stakeholders” – have discussions with KCA about how mining will be good for the community, and how all “stakeholders” will benefit.

Russell Photo Essay - La Puya

Professor Catherine Nolin and Alexandra Pedersen (PHD, Queens U.) stand with Alvaro Sandoval, a local citizen involved in the community defense struggle.  Local citizens have maintained this peaceful road occupation for over two years and are having none of the Guatemalan government’s attempted manipulations, even as they have suffered trumped up criminal charges, threats, beatings and shootings.

Alvaro reminds us, again – their position is 100% clear: they want the mining company out, and they want the illegally granted mining concessions legally and formally rescinded.

To see the whole photo essay, visit Rights Action’s webpage here.

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Photo Essay: Genocide Denial (Rights Action)

[Part of a photo essay by Grahame Russell of Rights Action, who is currently leading a delegation of North Americans to Guatemala in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The group has been visiting communities resisting violent repression and environmental damage caused by multinational corporations, including a number of global mining companies.]

Genocide Denial: Guatemalan Congress ‘Decrees’ that Genocide Never Occurred!

May 13

While we were receiving testimonies from communities in resistance to serious harms and violations caused by Tahoe Resources (Goldcorp Inc.) in San Rafael Las Flores, the corrupted Guatemalan Congress passed a “Decree” stating that there was no genocide in Guatemala!

Russell Photo Essay - Genocide

Maria Choc – holding Prensa Libre newspaper with headline “Congress says there was no genocide” – explains to Grahame Russell and the group the implications of this “decree” for the poor majority of Guatemalans, particularly the Mayan peoples, as the political, economic and military elites close ranks to try to re-write history.  From the Mayan Q’eqchi’ region of El Estor, where Maria is at the forefront of a land and environmental defense struggle, and a struggle for justice for serious violations caused by the Hudbay Minerals mining company and its Guatemalan subsidiary CGN, Maria explains that Q’eqchi’ parents and grand-parents of the people resisting nickel mining evictions and repression today, were killed in the infamous Panzos Massacre, May 27, 1978, when resisting violent evictions and repression caused by INCO and its Guatemalan military counter-parts.

From the highest levels of the government, military, judiciary and oligarchy, there is a concerted and threatening campaign of “Genocide Denial” going on, even as other governments, global companies and investors, the World Bank, etc, happily do ‘business as usual’ with the Guatemalan regime.  Guatemala’s repressive, undemocratic and complicated situation is getting harder!

Russell Photo Essay - San Rafael

In San Rafael Las Flores, Tahoe Resources (40% owned by Goldcorp Inc) silver mining operation has resulted in killings, illegal jailings, death threats, water depletion and profound community divisions, as the Guatemalan regime fully backs Tahoe’s illegal and aggressive mining push.

To see the whole photo essay, visit Rights Action’s web site.

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