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Guatemala: Almost 200 international organisations jointly denounce the murder attack against Xinka leader opposing Escobal mine

“More than 190 international organizations denounce latest attacks against members of the Peaceful Resistance to Escobal mine in Guatemala”, 21 January 2021

Today, Earthworks joins more than 190 organizations in denouncing an armed attack against Guatemalan land defender Julio David González Arango, a leader in the peaceful resistance to Pan American Silver’s Escobal mine. Julio was shot and wounded on January 16 at his home. Since the attack, two other members of the peaceful resistance have received threatening messages saying they’ll be next. The letter calls on the Guatemalan Attorney General to immediately launch a thorough investigation into the attack and hold the material and intellectual authors of this crime responsible. Julio has led opposition to the Escobal mine for nearly a decade, facing numerous criminalization and defamation campaigns against him by supporters of the mine…

This is a dangerous time for land-defenders impacted by the Escobal mine, which Xinka leaders say is made worse by Pan American Silver’s ongoing community outreach. For more than two years, the Xinka have called on the company to respect the court ordered suspension and halt all mining activities, including community programs, which they say stoke tensions and undermine their ability to freely participate in the consultation process.

While the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) recently agreed to accept all 59 Xinka representatives in the consultation process, marking the first significant advancement in almost two years, serious obstacles remain. A recent report details a slew of attacks against judicial independence in Guatemala, including allegations of corruption within the Supreme Court…

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