PBI-Guatemala accompanies the Resistance of Olopa at a Training on Media and Human Rights
On October 19, PBI-Guatemala posted:
“On Saturday, October 15, #PBI accompanied the Resistance of Olopa in a Training on the Media and Human Rights.”
PBI-Guatemala has previously explained:
“The Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa are working in the municipality of the same name, in the department of Chiquimula. The Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Council of Olopa is formed by 14 communities.
The Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa are fighting for recognition as indigenous communities, the recovery of their spirituality, the defense of their territory and the right to free, prior and informed consultation before the entry of mining projects into their territory.
They also seek to minimize the negative impacts of mining activities on the health of the people in their communities, denounce illegal logging and fight against gender violence in their communities.
The communities of Olopa are confronting the company American Minerals S.A., which was granted a 25-year antimony extraction license in 2012, without prior consultation with the communities.
In 2016, when mining activities began, the communities became aware of the negative impacts of these activities on water and the environment, and demanded the closure of the project.
On July 9, 2021, the Guatemalan Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) granted an injunction to these communities, recognizing their right to consultation, as provided for in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), had been violated. The mining license has thus been suspended, which should result in the cessation of their work.
PBI began accompanying the Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa in June 2021, following the receipt of their request, which is based on the serious increase in security incidents, defamation and criminalization processes they are experiencing.”