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#WHRDAlert GUATEMALA / ‘Cantera Los Manantiales’ security guards attack defender Irma Méndez

July 4, 2019

IRMA MÉNDEZ

Organization
Ch’orti’ New Day Central Indigenous Organizations

Activity
Defense of territory, land and natural resources

Attacks experienced
Physical attack

THE FACTS – On Monday afternoon July 1st, security guards of the Cantera Los Manantiales Company resorted to violence including the use of firearms against persons engaged in peaceful resistance against mining in the La Prensa and Carrizal communities of the town of Olopa, Chiquimula.

The violence took place when the alleged owner of the company failed to respect accords signed with the community, and drove his vehicle into a group of Ch’orti’ people engaged in peaceful resistance. As a result of the attack, the indigenous community authority Irma Méndez was wounded and a motorcycle destroyed.

It is important to note that Irma Méndez’s husband, the foremost indigenous authority in his community, died in mysterious circumstances that have still not been investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

We of IM-Defensoras condemn these acts and demand that the Guatemalan government guarantee the life, integrity and right to defend rights of Irma Méndez and others engaged in peaceful resistance outside the Cantera Los Manantiales Company.

We also demand that the Public Prosecutor’s Office open a diligent, thoroughgoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Elizandro Pérez, husband of Irma Méndez.