Municipalities of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, department of Guatemala.
Area of work and rights defended
Peaceful resistance to express their disagreement with the planned mining project in their municipalities. La Puya claim their right to information and prior consultation. They defend their right to water and a healthy environment, and call for an independent environmental impact study.
Description of the problem
Since 2010 the communities of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc have carried out actions of peaceful resistance to express their disagreement with the mining project "Progreso VII Derivada", that is planned in the zone with a license granted by the public authorities. One of the actions carried out by the Resistance was the blockade of the entrance to the mine in 2012, this blockade and protest camp was evicted in May 2014. PBI observed a disproportionate use of force by the police during that eviction. Members of the Resistance of La Puya have suffered threats, intimidation, and even the attempted murder of one member. Several members of La Puya are also facing criminal trials based on accusations made by persons linked to the company, with three of them sentenced to nine years in prison. In 2017, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala ordered that work in the mine be suspended and that a community consultation process be carried out.
PBI has accompanied the process of peaceful and legal Resistance of La Puya since November 2012.
In September 2012 the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission declared the communities of San Pedro Ayampuc and San José del Golfo winners of the Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defenders Award.