Take action! Guatemalan environmental defender attacked AGAIN

Second Anniversary of Referendum. Credit: CPR Urbana
Credit: CPR Urbana

On Saturday evening, armed assailants shot at six people in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, Guatemala, where communities have organized in peaceful resistance to Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine project.

Among those injured was Alex Reynoso, an environmental defender and member of the Mataquescuintla mining resistance movement in southeastern Guatemala. Alex remains in stable condition, recuperating from a bullet shot into his lower back.

This attack follows a pattern of violence against land and environmental defenders who oppose Tahoe’s mine. Just last year, Alex was shot and injured in another attack – one that killed his 16 year old daughter, Merilyn Topacio, herself a leader of the Mataquescuintla youth movement against mining. A year before that in April 2013, private security guards opened fire on a peaceful protest against the mine wounding seven men who are now suing Tahoe for negligence and battery in a British Columbia court.

This violence against environmental defenders must end, and these crimes must not be allowed to remain in impunity.