URGENT PRESS RELEASE TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FREDEMI – the Front in Defense of San Miguel
URGENT PRESS RELEASE
TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
FREDEMI – the Front in Defense of San Miguel
Today, February 28, 2011, the communities took measures to demand that the Guatemalan government comply with the Precautionary Measures (MC-260-07) authored by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which demand a temporary suspension of the Marlin Mine. The main roads leading to the mine were blocked in a peaceful way, respecting the political constitution of the country where the right to protest is protected.
When the road block ended, a group of approximately 20 people mercilessly beat Miguel Bamaca, even though the Presidential Commission for Human Rights (COPREDEH) has authored a precautionary measure for protection in his favour (translator’s note: the precautionary measure authorized by COPREDEH for the protection of Miguel Bamaca followed an assassination attempt in 2010). Mr. Miguel Bamaca was beaten by members of the Mejia family, along with neighbours who work for the mine. These people have strong ties to the mine and other illegal affairs. This act took place at 4:30pm in the community of Siete Platos.
Returning from the road block and passing through the community of San José Ixcaniche (a community that has historically supported the mine), around 70 community members cut off the road and began beating several people who were travelling by bus, including Aniseto Lopez, among others, without being able to defend themselves, as the aggressor were armed with guns, stones, knives and sticks among other weapons. Later 50 people were held hostage and their life was threatened in San José Ixcaniche with the help of the Mejia family.
For these reasons, we demand that the Guatemalan State:
Provide protection and respect for the physical integrity of those in protesting the mine
We ask the international community to be ready to respond and support the communities in resistance in light of this terrible violation of human rights.
We denounce the horrible practice of the mining company in manipulating its workers and forcing them to confront the communities that defend their legal rights, in addition to holding over 50 community members hostage.
We demand that the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights maintain vigilence and demand that the Guatemalan State respect the fundamental human rights of Indigenous Peoples.
San Miguel Ixtahuacán, San Marcos, Guatemala. February 28, 2011
FRENTE DE DEFENSA MIGUELENSE – FREDEMI