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Mining and Hydroelectrics Proposals Stir up Protestors in Guatemala

Article Summary:

Thousands of protesting Guatemalan indigenous people are marching toward the country’s capital in a nationwide movement to bring a response from the president about impending mining and hydroelectric proposals.

Photo Credit: Prensa Libre

Original Article Text From Prensa Libre via Google Translate :

Farmers March To The Capital In Protest Against Mining

A thousand peasants left yesterday the central park of Coban, Alta Verapaz, in a march toward the capital, where they expect to arrive next Monday, so that President Otto Perez Molina hear their petitions against the mining, hydroelectric and eviction farms.

Leocario Juracán, Farmers Committee of Altiplano, warned that if their demands are not met, the person responsible for what happens in the capital over Easter will be the ruler, because in the course of the 209 kilometers that will visit more peers are added face the same problems, so the number will be higher.

He added that the march is organized by the group of peasant organizations for the purpose of requiring the executive, legislative and judicial respond to requests that have been raised for several years, as to cease the spoils of their land, they respect their human rights and freedom of organization and redistribution of land.

Asked about why they left Coban, Juracán said: “It is an important area, because a year ago were evicted from the area Polochic several communities, despite the existence of precautionary measures on behalf of the homeless, who have not complied “.

“In this department the Government has not resolved the agrarian conflict, and only uses a populist discourse,” he added.

Among the requests of farmers include access to land, easy to obtain technical assistance, social and productive infrastructure. “Let the farmer produce for own consumption and create opportunity for the country,” Juracán.

Emilia Cac, member of Peasant Unity Committee (CUC), said the march will spend the night in different places. The first day in Tactic, Alta Verapaz, and then in Union Barrios, Salama, Baja Verapaz, up to the capital.

Remember eviction
“We recall that a year ago were evacuated 14 communities Polochic, which killed two peasants, so we ask that the Government seek the solution to this problem, since it does not comply with the precautionary measures, which it must respond with food for people, and have access to land, and until families are still leaving, “said Cac.

He said he also sympathized with the struggle of peoples against the exploration and mining and the construction of dams in other departments and in Alta Verapaz.

Daniel Pascual, head of CUC, said they read in the print media that Perez Molina, “so arrogant and dismissive of the protests, appointed Elmer Adrian Lopez Zapata and Rural Development Commissioner and Secretary of Agrarian Affairs, respectively”, to meet their problems, which can make a mockery of the march and indigenous communities.

“We warned him that if the president does not meet demand and does not pay attention to the movement, will have serious problems in the capital for Easter. If communities decide to stay in the capital is the sole responsibility of the president, to belittle the progress and delegitimize it. At the same time, shows that no government and president for foreign companies, entrepreneurs, and not for the people, “he said.

Pascual said that among the measures envisaged to take a camp set up in the Plaza of the Constitution and blocking roads.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa Libre

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