The voraciousness of the global economic system is leading to overexploitation of natural resources and the destruction of our Mother Earth. In Guatemala, the peaceful resistance of La Puya to the mining project of the American corporation Kappes, Cassiday and Associates is an example of struggle that we can all learn from.
English Translation, starting at minute 4:55
In recent years, corporate interest in metals and raw materials has greatly increased and foreign companies have entered our countries to exploit our natural resources, causing great environmental and social conflict.
Impoverished countries compete with each other to see who can offer the best conditions to attract foreign investment; local governments minimize taxes for transnational corporations that almost always manage to evade environmental and labor regulations – what many politicians and businessmen call a favorable business climate.
In order to wash their image, the companies carry out some work that they always overvalue and that in reality should be done by the State with our taxes. They call this corporate social responsibility, but in reality they are just crumbs to buy wills and hide the destruction they are causing. As is popularly said: they still want to buy us with little mirrors, while our southern countries continue to produce raw materials to fatten transnational capitals and feed the consumerist north.
Faced with this situation, every day communities grow a new determination not to allow their territory and their lives to be destroyed. The people of the towns defend their territories in a non-violent manner; they are human rights defenders.
In Guatemala there are many cases, one of them is the peaceful resistance of La Puya where the inhabitants of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, since 2011, have been opposing gold mining by the U.S. mining company Types Case and Associates.
The resistance of La Puya has not been easy: it has been 9 years since a group of neighbors got organized. During this time, they have endured all kinds of aggressions, persecution, criminalization, four eviction attempts and a frustrated murder. In spite of everything, the resistance of La Puya has always remained firm, acting in a peaceful and non-violent manner, without responding to provocations.
I am Alberta Palencia and on the 15th of this month, I will be 72 years old. Almost every time there has been a confrontation, I have been there and, yes it is hard, we are lying down in front of the gate so as not to let them pass inside; according to us we were firmly posted there, and there they could not enter; but this time what they did to us was too much.