PBI-Guatemala accompanies members of the Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Council of Olopa criminalized by mining company

Published by Brent Patterson on

On January 5, PBI-Guatemala posted: “#PBI accompanies 4 criminalized members of the Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Council of Olopa in the presentation hearing. They were put on trial for allegedly committing the crime of unlawful detention during a peaceful mobilization. Court granted them house arrest.”

CALDH has also tweeted: “In June 2022, a group of 6 leaders were sent to an oral and public debate for the same case.”

At that time, June 6, 2022, Prensa Comunitaria tweeted that member of the Olopa Indigenous Council “are criminalized by the mining company Cantera de los Manantiales”.

That Twitter thread further explains: “They were denounced in 2015 for opposing the entry of machinery into the municipality, without consulting 14 communities, which organized in resistance that same year.”

On June 6, 2022, PBI-Guatemala also posted: “#PBI accompanies 6 criminalized defenders of Olopa in the intermediate phase hearing. The six are part of a legal process against 38 defenders of the territory and members of the Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa and Quezaltepeque accused by workers of a company of having illegally detained them. The judge ruled that these workers cannot become plaintiffs in the case. In addition, he agreed that the defendants can be represented by their lawyers at the next hearing so as not to miss work. The hearing to offer evidence follows on Friday.”

Prensa Comunitaria has explained: “The mining project is rejected by the population and various organizations that claim that the communities were never consulted about its installation and has caused serious damage to the environment.”

In February 2022, Prensa Comunitaria also tweeted a short video with the caption: “Jesús Méndez from the San Nicolás indigenous community of #Quezaltepeque, affirms that they accompany the 6 indigenous authorities of #Olopa accused by the Los Manantiales mining company because they are defending the land of their ancestors.”

PBI-Guatemala has also noted: “The Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa and Quezaltepeque 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.”

PBI-Guatemala began accompanying the Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa and Quezaltepeque in June 2021.


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