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News > Guatemala

Guatemala Decrees the State of Siege in El Estor Municipality

  • The sign reads,

    The sign reads, "200 years of robbery and dispossession", Guatemala City, Guatemala, Sep. 15, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 October 2021 (19 hours 38 minutes ago)
Opinion

For 21 days, Indigenous Q'eqchi' people have mobilized to oppose the operations of the Fenix mine managed by the Guatemala Nickel Company (CGN)

Guatemala's President Alejandro Giammattei Sunday decreed a state of siege in the northeastern municipality of El Estor where clashes have been reported between Indigenous communities opposing a mine and security forces.

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The decision covers only the El Estor municipality in the Izabal department and will be in effect for 30 days.

Congress must ratify the order which restricts people's free movement, demonstrations, among other provisions.

For 21 days, Indigenous Q'eqchi' people have mobilized to oppose the operations of the Fenix mine managed by the Guatemala Nickel Company (CGN) which is a subsidiary of the Russian firm Solway Investment Group.

Between Friday and Saturday, they have suffered repression by security forces who have used tear gas bombs causing several injured, including women and children. 

So far, the National Civil Police has reported that at least 17 officials have been also wounded in the clashes, including four officers injured with firearms.

Guatemala's Human Rights Ombudsman Jordan Rodas assured that the mine is operating "illegally" as the Constitutional Court ruled to suspend the mining license in 2019 since CGN did not carry out prior consultation.

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