PBI-Guatemala accompanied La Puya resistance and Edgar Pérez speak at webinar on mining injustice

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Álvaro Sandoval of the Peaceful Resistance La Puya and Edgar Pérez of the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) spoke on the webinar “Mining Injustice through International Arbitration” organized by Earthworks and the Institute for Policy Studies on October 1.

To watch the video of that webinar (in Spanish), please click here.

The Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project accompanies the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya and the Human Rights Law Firm.

In March 2012 residents from San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc – an area known as La Puya, just north of Guatemala City – set up a peaceful, 24-hour a day blockade at the entrance of the Vancouver-based Radius Gold Inc. El Tambor mine.

By August 2012, the Canadian company sold El Tambor to US-based Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, but retained an economic interest in the mine (including quarterly royalty payments on the gold production from the mine).

By February 2016, the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya won a Guatemalan Supreme Court ruling that provisionally suspended the mining licence because there had not been prior consultation with affected communities, as is required under Guatemalan and international law, in particular the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169.

In response, Kappes, Cassiday & Associates filed a claim with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a World Bank arbitration mechanism, claiming its investor rights under the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) had been violated.

PBI-Guatemala recently noted: “The Peaceful Resistance La Puya is forming legal alliances and solidarity across national and international organizations and groups. Their objective is to make their voices heard in this exclusionary procedure and to create an antecedent that favors, not only the Resistance itself, but many other community processes that defend land, territory and water against projects which exploit natural resources.”

To watch the 1-hour webinar, click here.

On October 2, 2019, PBI-USA and PBI-Guatemala accompanied Álvaro Sandoval of the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya at meetings in Washington, DC on this issue.

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