PBI-Guatemala accompanies Nuevo Dia at meeting in Matazano where Indigenous authorities oppose mining

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On December 4, PBI-Guatemala posted: “PBI accompanies members of Nuevo Dia; today we met with the Council of Indigenous Authorities of Matasano, Jocotan.”

The work of the ‘New Day’ Ch’orti’ Campesino Central Coordinator (CCND) “revolves around the defense of the territory, and their main concerns and actions focus on the impacts of extractive projects on the environment and local economies.”

Matazano is a village in the municipality of Jocotán in the Chiquimula department.

On November 30, des Informemonos reported: “The population of the hamlet el Pinalito, Matazano village, an indigenous community located in the northern part of Jocotán, Chiquimula, in a community assembly rejected the mining activity carried out in the municipality, for that reason it has undertaken various actions for the defense of natural resources in the Ch’orti’ territory.”

“The participants agreed that it is important to take action against companies that intend to enter the territory, in order to appropriate natural resources.”

That article adds: “Another concern and discontent in the region is about the deterioration and possible extraction of minerals in the Granadilla Mountain from where several sources of water that supply indigenous communities are born, to the urban area of Jocotán, the departmental capital of Chiquimula and Zacapa, according to Damaso Aldana.”

Aldana is an Indigenous Maya Authority Ch’orti’ of Matazano and defender of human rights of Indigenous peoples.

Resumen LatinoAmericano also reported last month: “The Matazano community declared that they will remain in resistance in opposition to all kinds of mining projects, because they will destroy the future of the next generations.”

Canadian mining in the Jocotan Fault

Vancouver-based Radius Gold Inc. has noted: “The Holly property straddles the regional Jocotan Fault which forms part of the Motagua Suture Zone, 400km long by up to 80km wide deformation zone that separates the North American and Caribbean plates.”

It adds that the Holly and Banderas property are under a joint venture agreement with Vancouver-based Volcanic Gold mines.

Radius says: “Infrastructure near both projects is excellent and they can be reached after a 45 minute drive up into the hills surrounding the eastern Guatemalan town of Chiquimula.” Chiquimula is located about 35 kilometres west of Matazano where PBI-Guatemala met with members of Nuevo Dia and the Council of Indigenous Authorities there.

Notably, it was also Radius Gold Inc. that established the El Tambor mine in March 2012 that is opposed by the Peaceful Resistance of La Puya.

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied the ‘New Day’ Ch’orti’ Campesino Central Coordinator (Nuevo Dia) since 2009.

On December 2, PBI-Guatemala also met with the Council of Indigenous Authorities of Lelá Chancó and Lela Obraje in Camotán, Chiquimula where Maya Ch’orti’ land defenders are impacted by the Vancouver-based Goldex El Porvenir mine and the Export Development Canada financed TRECSA transmission line. More on that here.

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