Since March 2, 2012, residents from around the proposed site of the El Tambor Mine had maintained a peaceful, 24-hour blockade at the entrance to the mine, which is owned by the Reno-based engineering firm Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA). The mine is situated between the municipalities of San Pedro Ayampuc and San José Del Golfo, on the road between the latter town and the village of El Carrizal. This area is situated some 20-25km from Guatemala City.
Residents have been concerned about the health and environmental impacts of the mine and they are committed to defending their right to be consulted — as required under national and international law — about projects in the community that would affect their lives and livelihoods.
On May 23, 2014, after two years of peaceful struggle, the communities in resistance of La Puya were violently evicted from the entrance to the project; at least twenty people were injured and seven were taken to the hospital in Guatemala City. Since then, the Guatemalan police and military have escorted mining equipment onto the site.
The brave men and women of La Puya are not backing down, though, and continue to oppose the project. They have received overwhelming support from national and international organisations and individuals in solidarity with their struggle in defence of water, life and community wellbeing.
The community are about to celebrate their third anniversary and, while recognising the pain of struggle, we wish them every joy in the coming events.
To find out more about La Puya, there is a very good resource here on the website of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission (GHRC).
Why not take a minute and send your message of solidarity to La Puya here.