[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”
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.
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clear: they want the mining company out, and they want the illegally granted mining concessions legally and formally rescinded.