PBI-Guatemala accompanies Nuevo Dia at celebration of 1st anniversary of opposition to the Cantera Los Manantiales mine

Published by Brent Patterson on

On February 27, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted on its Facebook page, “Yesterday we accompanied Nuevo Dia in the celebration of its first anniversary of peaceful resistance and installation of a blocking of the ‘Cantera Los Manantiales’ mine in the municipality of Olopa, Chiquimula.”

“The members are waiting for a ruling from the CSJ [Supreme Court of Justice] on the violation of their right to prior, free and informed consultation. In November 2019, the CSJ granted a provisional protection that suspended the activities of the mine.”

Nuevo Dia has explained that the amparo (a legal remedy for the protection of constitutional rights) they have filed is “against the Ministry of Energy and Mines for having granted mining license to the Cantera los Manantiales company, without consulting the Ch’orti‘ indigenous communities of Olopa, Chiquimula.”

Nuevo Dia says that the mine “illegally extracts antimony, contaminating water, cutting down forests, causing strange diseases that especially affect children and removing tranquility, the peace and joy of the communities.”

And it notes, “Leaders and authorities have suffered criminalization, persecution, slander and defamation for opposing the company ‘Cantera Los Manantiales’.”

RIO Medios Independientes adds, “The direct concern is about the pollution of the Jupilingo River, as well as the appearance of skin diseases of children and elderly people.” The Belizean newspaper Amandala has reported that locals opposed to the mine say that it is also polluting the Zacapa River.

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied Nuevo Dia since 2009.

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