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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