PBI-Guatemala visits the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya camp

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On June 12, the PBI – Guatemala Project visited the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya camp.

PBI-Guatemala notes, “We remain aware of their security situation in the context of international arbitration between the State of Guatemala and the US mining company Kappes Cassidy & Associates (KCA).”

Residents from the communities of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc — an area known as La Puya — have been fighting against the Progreso VII Derivada-El Tambor gold mine located just north of Guatemala City since March 2010.

The Peaceful Resistance of La Puya, which is made up of members from these communities, has stated, “[The environmental impact assessment] shows that the gold and silver are contained in arsenopyrite rock, which contains high levels of arsenic. Levels of arsenic in the water increased considerably during the time the mine was in operation.”

They have also expressed concern about the massive amount of water the mine would use in their water-scarce region.

PBI-Guatemala references an international arbitration.

In December 2018, KCA filed a $300 million claim with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a World Bank arbitration mechanism.The company cites community protests and unjust treatment by the state as a violation of the terms of the Free Trade Agreement between the Dominican Republic, Central America and the United States.

Readers in Canada may want to take note that the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) has highlighted, “The company’s 2013 audited financial statements state that three quarters of the cost of the sale transaction will be paid to Radius once gold shipments commence from the property and that Radius also anticipates quarterly payments from KCA based on gold production.”

Radius Gold is a Vancouver-based company.

PBI-Guatemala began providing protective accompaniment to the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya since November 2012.

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