Guatemala declares emergency after Canadian private-interests spark protests as they try and destroy the lives of Guatemalans, despite loud & clear objections
May 3, 2013
The Guatemalan government has declared a state of emergency in four areas after clashes between police and anti-mining protesters in the south-east of the country. The interior ministry banned public gatherings and sent troops to four towns near a controversial silver mine.
Residents fear the Canadian-owned mine will drain their water supplies. They have not consented to the construction of the mine, have been ignored, and have taken to the streets in desperation to stop the Canadian private-interests from destroying their lives.
Protests have turned increasingly violent after it gained an operating permit in April. One police officer was shot dead on Monday, according to local media, and six protesters were reportedly wounded by gunfire from security guards a day earlier.
In another confrontation, protesters captured 23 police officers who were later freed, according to La Hora newspaper.
The owner of the Escobal mine, British Columbia-based Tahoe Resources, tried to frame the protesters as “aggressors armed with machetes, turned hostile”, and security guards fired tear gas and rubber bullets in response to the public’s cry for autonomy. The capitalist Tahoe Resources outright lied when they tried to claim that complaints that the mine could affect the springs were “totally unfounded”.
The mine, which is not yet operating, is in the district of San Rafael Las Flores, about about 70km (40 miles) east of Guatemala City.
The corrupt government said on Thursday it was outlawing gatherings in the towns of Jalapa and Mataquescuinlta, and the areas of Casillas and San Rafael Las Flores. A decree allows them temporarily to make detentions, conduct searches and question suspects outside the normal legal framework.
No Consent = No Mine
Even if the government tries to lock the people in their houses, the people have been abundantly clear – they do not want this Canadian capitalist ruining their lives & their communities. They decide. Not lawmakers. Not Canadian capitalists. The community has a choice and they have chosen to protect their homes or die trying. Support them in any & every way you can!