[From the report: ]
While representatives from mining affected communities from throughout Mesoamerica gathered in Huehuetenango to discuss strategies to confront the expansion of mining in their territories, the peaceful encampment in San Rafael Las Flores was violently evicted by members of the National Police. At the time of this writing at least 29 people have been detained and many more were injured in the attack.
Since Monday, April 8, men, women and children from the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores have been peacefully gathered on privately owned land in an ongoing expression of their opposition to the exploitation license granted to Minera San Rafael, the Guatemalan subsidiary of Tahoe Resources.
The encampment had publically and repeatedly expressed their intention to peacefully occupy the land in order to voice their opposition to the recently approved project. On the day of the eviction community leaders denounced acts of provocation by unidentified individuals in a vehicle similar to those used by the mine private security. Instead of investigating the provocations or engaging in dialogue with the encampment, the Government of Guatemala chose to violently evict the peaceful resistance.
The exploitation license was granted in a climate of increasing violence and despite the ongoing criminal investigation into Minera San Rafael for industrial contamination. Community members have repeatedly expressed their rejection of Tahoe’s Escobal project through community consultations, carried out throughout the mining affected region.
Read the full report and statement on NISGUA’s website here.