The eviction comes a day before a presidential meeting and a year after a violent eviction against La Puya’s peaceful resistance.
June 3rd, 2015
The community of La Puya in central Guatemala, resisting the U.S.-owned El Tambor gold mine project for over three years, faced eviction Tuesday after at least 300 security forces arrived in the early morning forcing illegal displacement of the blockade, Prensa Libre reported. According to witnesses, in the early hours of the morning security forces, including riot police, removed barricades blocking vehicle traffic to clear the entrance to the mine and also took down the community’s signs accompanying the blockade.
Community representatives later spoke with with the officers, saying the eviction was illegal and that they awaited a legal order for the community’s removal. The threat of eviction comes days after La Puya reactivated its peaceful blockade and also coincides with the one year anniversary of violent eviction against the community last May.
Community representatives have a meeting scheduled Wednesday with President Perez Molina, whose resignation has been widely called for in recent weeks by social movements, to reinitiate a dialogue on the community’s demands, Prensa Libre reported. Members of Guatemala’s Council for Human Rights also arrived on the scene to observe the increased police presence as a preventative measure for the community as they faced the threat of a repressive crackdown.
Members of the resistance and organizations in solidarity with La Puya held a demonstration in the capital city Tuesday afternoon to denounce the repression against the peaceful resistance and demand “respect for live and sustainable development.”
La Puya launched its resistance against the construction of El Tambor gold mine in 2012. Women and indigenous people are at the forefront of the community’s non-violent movement that has effectively put a stop to the work of at least three transnational mining companies.
During the first of three years of resistance against the mine, La Puya caused $US3 million in losses for the company Exmingua, the Guatemalan subsidiary of Nevada-based U.S. transnational extractive corporation Kappes Cassiday & Associates.