Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Guatemala Indigenous organizer hacked to death

Antonio Morales, Maya Mam, community organizer assassinated, fought GoldCorp's Montana mining in Guatemala
Free Speech Radio, August 8, 2008
An indigenous and campesino leader in Guatemala has been assassinated, just ahead of national actions to commemorate the International Day of Indigenous People
s। Tim Russo has more from Guatemala.
Antonio Morales, a Guatemalan indigenous leader from the CUC, Committee of Campesino Unity, was attacked and hacked to death yesterday morning as he returned to his home in Colotenango, Guatemala. Morales was a national leader of the CUC, CNOC and Maya Waqib Kej, three of Guatemala’s most important indigenous organizations which have actively opposed large scale mining projects, hydroelectric projects and the privatization of water. Such is the case in San Miguel Iztahuacan, San Marcos where Montana Exploring a subsidiary of Canada’s Goldcorp Inc has spent thousands of dollars on trying to halt a community led plebiscite that poses to threaten Montana’s mining exploration and mineral extraction. Fifty-nine mayors of local villages and towns in the region have unified in opposition to Montana’s mining and the result has been increased military presence in the region to protect Montana’s interests. The CUC, CNOC and Maya Waqib Kej have denounced Morales' death as political intimidation as they prepare massive protests in ten regions throughout Guatemala for today and Saturday in celebration of August 9th’s International Day of Indigennous Peoples। For Free Speech Radio News, this is Tim Russo in Guatemala...

Assassination of Local Anti-Mining Leader Leads up to the International Day of Indigenous Peoples
Support Justice for Indigenous Leaders and the Struggle for Self-determination of Indigenous Communities Throughout Guatemala
NISGUA is sad to report the following piece of news regarding the assassination of Antonio Morales, ex- Municipal council member of Colotenango, Huehuetenango in Western Guatemala. Antonio Morales, a Maya Mam community leader, was killed Thursday morning August 7, 2008.
Just over a month ago, on June 23, 2008 the municipality of Colotenango became one of 26 municipalities to reject mining on their territory through a community referendum. The assassination occurred one day before the International Day of Indigenous Peoples (August 8th). On this day rural communities and organizations were planning mobilizations throughout the country and particularly in Western Guatemala to voice their resistance to mega projects such as hard metal mining and hydroelectric dams, and defend their right to autonomy and self-determination.
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