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News > Latin America

Guatemalan Court Suspends Mining Operations in La Puya

  • La Puya's activists celebrating two years of peaceful resistance in March 2014.

    La Puya's activists celebrating two years of peaceful resistance in March 2014. | Photo: Upside Down World

Published 16 July 2015

Local communities have been peacefully fighting against the mining project for the past three years. 

Communities of La Puya, Guatemala, celebrated a major victory on Wednesday when a constitutional court suspended the mining license and operations of national company Exmingua, a subsidiary of U.S. mining company Kappes, Cassiday & Associates.

A constitutional court ruled in favor of the community mayors from EL Guapinol and El Carrizal, supported by the Association of Maya Lawyers, who filed the suit against the U.S.-owned El Tambor gold mine project.

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The suspension order goes along with the obligation for the mining company to hold community consultations with local residents affected by the mine. Local communities have been lobbying against the project since March 2012.

The commities have remained firm in their nonviolent resistance in San Jose del Golfo, despite sometimes paying a high price. Police have violently evicted community blockades, community members opposed to the mine have been shot and threatened, and in May 2014 nine leaders from the resistance were accused of making threats and assaulting employees of the El Tamblor mine, though they were finally cleared of any charges in March.

The local community resistance claims the project has no legitimacy and will contaminate the environment with dangerous, toxic chemicals. 

RELATEDGuatemalan Government, Canadian Mining Industry Responsible for Violent Conflicts

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