As Firm as a Tree: Portraits of Diodora Henandez, a woman in resistance against Canadian mining

OCTOBER 19, 2011. The Dominion.

As Firm as a Tree

Portraits of Diodora Henandez, a woman in resistance against Canadian mining


A portrait of Diodora Hernandez, an anti-mining activist who is lucky to be alive after being attacked because of her stance against Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc.PHOTO: JAMES RODRIGUEZ/WWW.MIMUNDO.ORG

SAN MIGUEL IXTAHUACAN, GUATEMALA- On July 7, 2010, Diodora Hernandez, a staunch anti-mining activist, was shot point-blank in the right eye.

The incident took place outside her home in the small community of San José Nueva Esperanza, in the municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacán, only a few metres from a fence that delimits Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine.

Diodora, who lost her right eye as a result of the attack, lives with her daughter María and grand-daughter Olga. One year after her miraculous recovery, Diodora’s anti-mining stance and activism remains as steadfast as ever.

“They tried to kill me because I do not want to sell my plot of land,” said Diodora while being interviewed on the local radio station The Voice of the People.

“People around here do not think about the future or their children, but only on the present, the money they can get for the present.”


Diodora is now constantly trailed by security guards. “I will never sell my plot. This is where I was born, and I will die here. Even if I did sell it, where would I go?”
Cooking and looking after children are essential parts of Diodora’s day, which now take place under the watchful eye of security guards.
“I am sad because most of my neighbors have sold out and left. But me, hmmm, don’t you worry, I will continue on with the struggle! I am firm as a tree. Standing I am, and standing I will remain.”


James Rodriguez is an independent documentary photographer based in Guatemala. He publishes at


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