Archive for May 31st, 2014

La Puya

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Mining for minerals has become a hot topic here in Guatemala. I’m not here to either support or show discontent with it. Here is what I saw.
A lot of individuals and some academic circles would render the intentions of people who oppose mining as biased and influenced by foreigners. Guatemalan media and social chatter constantly suggest the presence of these foreigners as infiltrators and instigators. And a lot of times people who partake in this anti mining efforts are often called “terrorist” by the people who favor it.
Well, the only foreigners I saw here where a couple who rode the same bus I did, and they were there only to see what was going on.

Two years of peaceful disobedience.
People at La Puya have been protesting against the mine for two years. They have set a campsite on the side of the road by the entrance to the mine.
Last week, these peaceful protesters were violently evicted from the area, and during this eviction several people, including children, were hurt.
I was told of a man who got his leg broken by a tear gas canister fired at point blank. Another woman had a bruise about 5 inches in diameter, again from a tear gas canister.

No, these people are not infiltrated by foreign instigators, no, these are people who are aware of the “presumed” damage mining operations can cause to their immediate health and way of life.