Thursday, July 25, 2013

Guatemalan complainants celebrate effective suspension of Tahoe Resources license

CALAS and the Xinca Parliament announce the suspension of
Tahoe Resources' mining license on Wednesday morning. Photo: Prensa Libre

(Ottawa/Guatemala City) On Tuesday, the Civil and Mercantile Division of Guatemala’s First Court of Appeals notified the Centre for Environmental and Social Legal Action (CALAS) that it is upholding an appeal associated with Tahoe Resources' production license for the Escobal project.

Quelvin Jimenez of the indigenous Xinka Parliament presented the appeal in May with legal support from CALAS, claiming lack of due process regarding a complaint he filed against the company's license prior to it being granted on April 3, 2013. The Xinca Parliament, the San Rafael Las Flores Committee in Defense of Life and Peace, and the Santa Rosa Diocese Council for the Defence of Nature (CODIDENA) supported the appeal process.

The Appeals Court found in favour of Jimenez and ordered the Ministry of Energy and Mines to adequately attend to his complaint, which was based on concerns over negative impacts on water supplies in the area of Tahoe’s Escobal silver project, currently under construction.

CALAS lawyer Rafael Maldonaldo remarked, “This is a historic sentence for the rights of all Guatemalans. The decision means the suspension of Tahoe Resources’ exploitation licence, preventing the company from putting the mine into production.”

Since November 2011, Jimenez and more than 200 other affected community members presented formal objections to Tahoe’s request for a licence from the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Less than an hour before the Ministry announced that it had granted Tahoe its license, Jimenez and others were notified that their objections would not be heard.

Jimenez regards the decision as a sign of hope for the affected communities where tensions have run high in recent months. During a press conference Wednesday morning he remarked, “The only thing the Escobal mine is currently producing in the area is conflict.”

Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine has been mired in controversy given broad community opposition and incidents of violence, the most recent of which has been linked to company personnel. Then Security Manager of the Escobal mine, Alberto Rotondo, is under house arrest awaiting trial for alleged participation in an April 27 shooting against people protesting outside the mine that left six wounded.

Goldcorp owned the Escobal silver project until 2010 and currently holds 40% of Tahoe Resources’ common shares. Most of Tahoe’s directors have prior or current connections back to the gold producer whose Marlin mine in northwestern Guatemala has been a site of permanent conflict, given lack of respect for community consent and ongoing concerns over impacts on water supplies and the health of indigenous communities.

  • Rafael Maldonado, Centre for Environmental and Social Legal Action (CALAS), (502) 5307 4250
  • Jen Moore, Latin America Program Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada, (613) 569-3439
  • Lisa Rankin, Coordinator, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, (502) 5071 4164

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tahoe Myths: Setting the record straight

On Monday July 8, Guatemala's Public Prosecutor, on behalf of the six victims and co-plaintiffs in the case, filed a formal accusation against Alberto Rotondo, former security manager for Minera San Rafael, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources. Rotondo was employed by the company when he allegedly ordered private security guards under his command to shoot at peaceful protesters outside the mine’s entrance on April 27 of this year. He has since been indicted on charges of assault causing serious and minor injuries and obstruction of justice.

Since the incident on April 27, Tahoe Resources has issued public statements that negate the existence of peaceful local opposition to the project and downplay the seriousness of the violence around the mine site and the charges against company employees.

NISGUA, together with our partners in Guatemala and Canada, want to help set the record straight. Here is a handful of Tahoe Myths to get started: 

1. Only non-lethal force was used in April 27 attack against protesters (Tahoe press release, May 1 and Tahoe press release, July 10)
FACT - Spokespeople for Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City stated that lead bullets were removed from victims.  Official documentation prepared by the national hospital of Cuilapa, where three victims were treated, also states that the injuries were caused by firearms. Victims testified to being shot with lead bullets, in addition to rubber bullets, and injuries sustained support that testimony.

2. Injured protesters taken to hospital and released (Tahoe press release May 1 and Tahoe press release July 10)
FACT – Of the six men seriously injured, one man was hospitalized for 16 days and will require facial re-constructive surgery. Two other men initially admitted and release at local hospitals were later re-hospitalized and held overnight.

3. Alberto Rotondo, Tahoe's security manager, was detained but not charged with any crimes (Tahoe press release, May 1)
FACT – Security manager Alberto Rotondo was detained on April 30, and on May 7, he was charged with obstruction of justice and assault. In a June 4 press release, Tahoe CEO Kevin McArthur did not amend the May 1 statement, nor did he respond to the fact that Rotondo was under house arrest awaiting trial. Instead he stated in a separate interview that he could not comment on the investigation. It was not until July 10 that Tahoe Resources acknowledged the criminal charges filed against their former security manager.

Juan Pablo Oliva Trejo, Rotondo's security advisor, employed by Tahoe, was also arrested, and on May 15 was charged with concealing evidence. He is also under house arrest awaiting trial.

4. There is widespread support for the Escobal project
FACT – There is widespread opposition to the project. 12 community consultations held since 2011 have rejected Tahoe's project. The 8 most recent consultations were held in communities within the municipality of San Rafael las Flores. In each vote people have overwhelmingly rejected the project. The remaining 16 communities plan to have consultations as soon as possible. At least 200 legal objections to the project have been filed with the Ministry of Energy and Mines by individuals who stand to be directly impacted by the operations of the Escobal mine.

See our Top 10 Tahoe Myths for a full list of facts on the case against former Tahoe security manager.

For a time line of events see: Tahoe Resources' Security Manager on Trial in Guatemala: Chronology of Events: April 27, 2013 – July 9, 2013


  • Share this information with your network
  • Join the conversation on twitter using #TahoeOnTrial  
  • Remain attentive to future actions and alerts as the case moves forward 

See NISGUA’s previous blog entries for more information:
The complaint issued to Ontario Securities Commission for Tahoe's lack of disclosure on violence around the mine;   Tahoe Resources Shareholder Alert: A Dangerous Investment or download the complete document here.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Urgent communique denouncing assassination of Santos Fidel Ajau Suret, member of La Puya encampment

On Tuesday, July 9, Santos Fidel Ajau Suret, a member of the ongoing peaceful resistance at La Puya, was assassinated. The MadreSelva Collective released the following communique denouncing his assassination. Translation by NISGUA, in Spanish here

Urgent Communique
We denounce the cowardly assassination of Santos Fidel Ajau Suret, activist of La Puya encampment

Santo Fidel Ajau Suret, 54 years old, member of the community of San Antonio El Ángel and activist at the La Puya encampment, was the victim of a cowardly assassination on Tuesday, July 9, while on his way home.

We reject this vile murder, carried out at 5:15 PM by two men driving motorcycles on the dirt road that connects San Jose del Golfo to the community of San Antonio El Ángel. Mr. Fidel was shot three times in the back followed by two coup de grace.

We also denounce that on the same night, July 9, unknown men fired gunshots outside the home of Yolando Oquelí in San José del Golfo.

The modus operandi of this murder is similar to the previous attempt on the life of Yolanda Oquelí in June of last year. This past Sunday, Santos Ajau received threats from people known to have participated in acts of harassment organized by the mining company. Throughout the month of June and continuing until now, the resistance at the La Puya encampment has been subject to harassments and threats, including gunshots.

The community members of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc oppose the installation of the mining project Progreso VII Derivada, authorized by the Ministry of Energy and Mines without the consent of impacted communities. The mining project is the property of the US. company Kappes Cassiday & Associates (KCA). The investors in this project have launched a campaign of harassment and threats against the lives of members of La Puya resistance, contracting ex-military who were active during the internal armed conflict. This is the case of retired military personnel Pablo Silas Orozco who led the aggressions against activists at La Puya. Orozco has been criminally charged for threats against members of the press who were physically and verbally accosted by Orozco during November of last year.

The communities that form the resistance at La Puya are participating in preliminary meetings with the maximum authorities of the country, including President Otto Pérez Molina and the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources to demand the cancellation of the Progresso VII Derivada mining project. To the above-mentioned authorities: we demand the immediate cancellation of mining and hydroelectric licenses granted to companies that have carried out criminal actions against the population. An example of which are the cases of Ecoener Hidralia Energia – Hidro Santa Cruz in Huehuetenango, Mina San Rafael – Tahoe Resources in Santa Rosa and Kappes Cassiday & Associates – KCA.

Stop the assassination of those defending life and territory!

We demand a thorough investigation into the vile assassination of Santos Fidel Ajau Suret!

The government of Pérez Molina must cancel the licenses for extractive industries companies that have carried out criminal actions against the Guatemalan people!

Yes to life, No to mining!

Organizaciones Indigenas denuncian propuesta de moratoria minera


El anunció del Presidente de la República de Guatemala de presentar una iniciativa de ley en el Congreso de la República para decretar “una moratoria por dos años para no dar más licencias para la minería metálica” en el país, mientras comienza el debate por una nueva Ley de Minería, en el Legislativo, no es novedosa ni trascendente para los Pueblos Originarios de Guatemala; su antecesor, el Señor Alvaro Colom Caballeros ya lo había ensayado. Retraer la moratoria para el otorgamiento de licencias mineras, es otra evidencia de lo precipitado e improvisa actitud del actual gobernante con la que se levanto la moratoria predecesora.

Aún, cuando los Pueblos originarios habían presentado una acción de inconstitucionalidad en contra de la actual Ley de Minería, el Ejecutivo realizó dos acciones desesperadas: a) la suspensión de la moratoria dejada por su predecesor y, b) la presentación de una iniciativa de reforma de la Ley de referencia.

Con la suspensión de la primera moratoria, masivamente se otorgaron inconsultamente licencias de actividad minera en territorios indígenas y, con la iniciativa de reforma de la ley, se evidencia la falta de patriotismo el resguardo de la soberanía nacional. Esta iniciativa maquiavélica detalla que, en caso de que se apruebe una reforma al Decreto 48-97, Ley de Minería, o se cree una nueva Ley, el recién entregado proyecto quedaría derogado. 

La iniciativa de ley de Moratoria -“suspensión de la emisión de licencias”- no tendrá vigencia de forma inmediata, ya que esta tiene que ser leída en el Pleno, enviarse a la Comisión de Energía y Minas para buscar su dictamen y luego retornar el proyecto para iniciar su discusión.

Esta iniciativa es una “cortina de humo y un perfecto show” que buscar apaciguar la resistencia comunitaria, los conflictos originados por la imposición del modelo minero en el país.  Esta propuesta es contradictoria, cuando en año y medio el Ejecutivo ha entregado alrededor de cien licencias de minería metálica. 

Los pueblos no han pedido moratorias en las consultas comunitarias; los pueblos han exigido al Gobierno respeto a las decisiones emitidas desde las consultas comunitarias de buena fe, en las cuales, se han rechazado rotundamente el modelo de muerte encubierto en la actividad minera.

Guatemala, no necesita saquear al país para generar su propio desarrollo, la actividad minera no es la alternativa única ni prioritaria para un modelo de desarrollo integral.  

Huehuetenango, julio de 2013


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Indigenous organizations denounce proposed mining moratorium

In a televised program broadcast from outside Tahoe Resources’ conflictive Escobal mine project, President Otto Pérez Molina announced a proposed two-year moratorium on the granting of new mineral mining licenses. A similar moratorium put in place under the Colom presidency was lifted under the Molina administration, allowing for the issuance of roughly 100 exploration and exploitation licenses during the last year and a half. The President and Minister of Energy and Mines, Erick Archila, took care in assuring the public and Tahoe executives in particular, that the decision would not impact the Escobal project, approved for mineral exploitation in April of 2013.

He also explained that the purpose of the moratorium is to allow the government to pass reforms to the 1997 Mining Law. In a groundbreaking legal action filed in July 2012, this same law was denounced by the Western Peoples Council (CPO) as unconstitutional, as it fails to fulfill national and international mandates that require the State to consult with indigenous people regarding policies that will significantly impact their territories. In March, 2013, more than eight months after the action was filed, Guatemala's highest court upheld the Mining Law, rejecting the CPO appeal.

Indigenous and campesino organizations denounced the latest moratorium as a political show intended to calm widespread resistance to harmful mining projects, while pushing through reforms that do nothing to address the real issues including the lack of respect for communities' right to consultation on projects that impact their lives, livelihoods and territories.

Read NISGUA's translation of the declaration from the Western Peoples' Council and the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango below. See the original Spanish version here


The announcement of the President of the Republic of Guatemala to present a law initiative to the Congress of the Republic to decree “a two year moratorium on the granting of additional licenses for mineral mining” in the country, while starting the debate for a new Mining Law in the legislative branch, is neither novel nor substantive for the Original Peoples of Guatemala. The current president’s predecessor, Mr. Alvaro Colom Caballeros, had already put this into practice.

To bring back a moratorium on the granting of mining licenses is more evidence of the hasty and improvised attitude of the current government in lifting the moratorium previously in place.

Furthermore, after the Original Peoples presented a legal action of unconstitutionality against the current Mining Law, the Executive Branch carried out two desperate actions: a) the suspension of the moratorium put in place by the previous president, and b) the presentation of a new initiative to reform the Mining Law.

The suspension of the first moratorium brought the massive granting of un-consulted licenses for mining in indigenous territories, while the Mining Law reform initiative demonstrates the lack of patriotic interest in protecting national sovereignty. This Machiavellian initiative makes clear that the  recently announced proposed moratorium would be repealed in the case of reforms to Mining Law Decree 48-97, or if a new law is created.

The moratorium law initiative - “suspension of the granting of licenses” - will not immediately go into effect as it must be read in the plenary, sent to the Commission of Energy and Mines for analysis and then sent back to Congress for discussion.

This initiative is a “smoke screen and a total show” that seeks to placate community resistance and conflicts as a result of the imposition of the mining model in the country. This proposal is contradictory because during the last year and a half the Executive has granted roughly 100 mineral mining licenses.

The people have not asked for a moratorium on community consultations; the people have demanded that the government respect the decisions of the good-faith community consultations that have overwhelmingly rejected this model of death disguised as mining activity.

Guatemala does not need to plunder the country in order to generate its own development. Mining activity is not the only alternative nor is it a priority for an integral development model.

Huehuetenango, July 2013


On June 30, the March for Memory proclaimed: "I am also a victim of genocide"

In Guatemala City, hundreds celebrated the Day of Heroes and Martyrs on June 30, in lieu of the perennial national holiday known as Army Day. Since 1999, groups of urban activists have chosen to commemorate those killed in the internal armed conflict, rather than the army, on this day. In the name of those killed, hundreds gather in Guatemala City's Zone 1 and march through the city center, making key stops along the way to remember loved ones. In addition, the march showed solidarity and support for the genocide trial and this year proclaimed: "I am also a victim of genocide". Read our translation of the full statement by HIJOS - Hijos e Hijas por la Identidad y la Justicia contra el Olvido y el Silencio (Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice and Against Forgetting and Silence) below.

The March for Memory enters Guatemala City's central park. Photo: NISGUA

CALDH and the AJR present the March for Memory with a
copy of the historic genocide sentence. Photo: NISGUA

I am also a victim of genocide

Dictionaries define genocide as the extermination or systematic elimination of a social group based on race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation or nationality. Its etymology is attributed to Greek, while other linguists attribute it to Latin, nevertheless, all linguists agree in one way or another that genocide is the extermination of one's origin.

Why would one group want to exterminate another? Why would a group or any human collective want to destroy the origin of another? Marta Casaús defines racism as, “The generalized and definitive appreciation of differences - biological or cultural, real or imaginary, benefitting one group at the expense of the other. These attitudes can manifest themselves as behaviors, imagery, racist practices or ideologies which expand to the entire social sphere forming part of the collective imagination.”

Along these lines, genocide is no more than a group's last resort to submit another, to impose their way of seeing, thinking or feeling, in favor of their economic interest. Genocide is a type of fear, to destroy one form of being in favor of the economic and political hegemony.

What we know today as the republic of Guatemala is a territory consisting of distinct peoples and communities which originated in times before our era, peoples whose origin is before the invasion and subsequent colonization in 1524. Peoples who have maintained their own forms and ways of seeing and understanding the world. With colonization, these peoples were assassinated, persecuted and concentrated with the goal of submitting them and imposing them to the colonist way and to take all the political and economic profit to the benefit of the colonizer.

Despite the attempts of annihilation, persecution and submission, the people of Guatemala have maintained economic, political and cultural resistances to the invader, configuring new identities, rebuilding time and again the physical and cultural origin that the colonist destroyed.

By way of fire and blood, the criollo and patriarchal powers have implemented genocide, as the maximum expression of their impotence in the face of the resistance of those that are different. Genocide is not only implemented through killing members of a group, it also creates the conditions for the full or partial disappearance of the group. Genocide is the dispossession of lands, imposition of megaprojects, closing spaces for expression of one's own cultural forms, as well as cultural destruction itself. Genocide is implemented through the creation of these mechanisms so that in one form or another the other group is submitted to the point that the group perpetrating the domination disappears or absorbs them.

Today's violence derives from and is related to the violence of yesterday, to the different genocides. The powerful have not been able to resolve the causes that provoke the outbreak of resistances to their impositions. One example of this are gangs, who inhabit territories their grandparents, fathers, mothers, uncles, or other people close to them, have had to occupy for having suffered genocidal policies in a direct way, having been displaced from their communities during the war, before they were even born. The concentrated areas in which they were relocated demonstrate the government and economic powers' continued and ongoing incapacity to resolve resistance to its genocidal policies. They live in settlements lacking access to basic services, education, culture, history and memory, expressing the violence to which they have been submitted in society.

The genocidaires today complain about the society they created. Those who planned, financed and executed the genocide (and not only in the 1980s), those who rearranged territories, destroyed cultures and ways, usurped memories and histories, invented subjectivities and imposed false nationalist symbols, today return the responsibility of misery, fear, impunity, violence and insecurity to the people. The same people who call us a terrorist today, once called us animals without a soul and gave us the title of communist to justify their barbarity, today they march in white through a society that they created.

My name is Ana, Hugo, Ricardo, Erick, Silvia, María, Jacinto, Jan, Pilar, Cecilia, Jacobo. I'm 17, 19, 20, 25, 29, 37 years old and I'm a victim of genocide, for those who are no longer with us, for those who we miss, for poverty, the silence, the fear, the impunity, for injustice, for the closing of space, because time and again they attempt to destroy my origin, my identity, but also because time and again I recast my origin, recreate my identity, I resist; I will not keep silent. Today we have a sentence for genocide that a constitutional tribunal emitted after hearing the testimony of almost one hundred witnesses, a sentence that the Constitutional Court annulled, basking in impunity, but every day in the peoples' voices legitimize that despite the continued genocidal policies, we continue we continue to live. We continue to create and recreate our cultures and memories, making history.

We are all the sons and daughters of the same history
Neither Forgiveness, Nor Forget
HIJOS Guatemala, June 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013

Communities of Santa Rosa and Jalapa denounce criminalization of leaders opposing Tahoe Resources' Escobal mine

Since the May 2 declaration of a state of siege in four municipalities surrounding Tahoe Resources' mine, 12 members of the Committee in Defense of Life and Peace of San Rafael had their homes raided by police and military forces, five community members have been arrested and charged, and at least 18 more have pending arrest warrants against them.

During the last year, there have been more than 70 legal processes against individuals peacefully opposing Tahoe's Escobal mine. Many of those singled out have participated in the Committee in Defense of Life and Peace and have been leaders in the organization of the 12 community consultations carried out in the region since 2011. In each of the consultations, the population voted overwhelmingly against mining projects in their territory.

Criminalization continued during the May state of siege when Judge Carol Patricia Flores, who attempted to annul the historic genocide trial before the Constituional Court did so officially on May 20, issued at least 18 arrest warrants in a legal process filled with anomalies. Among the five arrested was Guillermo Carrera, community leader and member of the Committee in Defense of Life and Peace. After almost two months in prison, a judge in Jalapa has only just been assigned to hear Carrera's case. All of the accused are implicated in crimes related to the robbery of mine explosives in November 2012 and the detention of police officers in Santa Maria Xalapán in April 2013.
Supporter calls for due process at the peaceful protest outside the Public Prosecutor's office. A photo of Guillermo Carrera, unjustly imprisoned for almost 2 months, hangs around his neck. (Photo: NISGUA)
President of the Xinca Parliament, Roberto González, and prominent leader of the Committee for the Defense of Life and Peace of San Rafael las Flores, Rudy Pivaral, are among those with arrest warrants pending. González was one of the Xinca leaders kidnapped after leaving a community consultation on the Tahoe project in March, 2013. Rudy Pivaral has been instrumental is the organization of the eight consultations to date in the municipality of San Rafael las Flores.

On June 19, the Campesino Unity Committee (CUC) and the Xinca Parliament filed an appeal against High Risk Court “A” judge, Carol Patricia Flores. The legal action denounced the loss of the court audio, considered to be critical pretrial evidence. According to Sergio Beltetón, legal counsel for CUC, “It is a violation of the Penal Process, which requires that all judicial hearings be electronically recorded... the judge's excuse is that the audio was lost, and that it wasn't recorded on a CD or a hard drive on the computer.” 

Today, families, friends and supporters of the criminalized and jailed gathered outside Guatemala's Public Prosecutor's office to demand an end to criminalization and respect for due process. NISGUA joins our Guatemalan partners in denouncing the persecution of community and indigenous leaders legitimately defending their territory, self-determination and the right to live in a healthy environment. 

Rudy Pivaral's mother calls for due process in the case against her son. (Photo: NISGUA)
Despite the ongoing persecution of mine opposition, important steps have been made in the search for justice for victims of the violent attack carried out against peaceful protesters outside the mine site on April 27. Two Tahoe Resources employees have been arrested and charged in connection to the attack against community members in which six men were seriously injured. Former Tahoe head of security, Alberto Rotondo, and security advisor Juan Pablo Oliva Trejo are under house arrest awaiting trial.

NISGUA has been accompanying the consultation processes in the communities surrounding the Tahoe Resources mine site since 2011. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hundreds accompany the Ixil people on their Day of Dignity

Several hundred traveled from Guatemala City to Nebaj on June 21-22 with the
"Caravan for the Dignity of the Ixil People and Against Genocide". Photo: NISGUA

Ixil authorities welcome organizations to Nebaj. Photo: NISGUA

Each year on June 22, the Ixil people remember their martyrs and heroes. The day commemorates seven principal Ixil leaders who rose up in resistance and called for the dignity of their people in the face of forced labor under the Jorge Ubico dictatorship. On the morning of June 22, 1936, military troops arrived from Santa Cruz Quiché and Sacapulas to squash the resistance and soldiers shot and killed the seven Ixil leaders. The Ixil people have reclaimed June 22 as their Day of Dignity. For a more detailed account of the 1936 rebellion and massacre, see this article (in Spanish).

This year, in mark of the historic verdict for the Ixil people in the genocide case, a caravan of activists and supporters traveled from Guatemala City to Nebaj to celebrate the Day of Dignity and commemorate the seven massacred leaders with the Ixil people. In a moving demonstration of the lasting importance of the genocide sentence, regardless of the trial annulment, the Center for Human Rights Legal Action and the Association for Justice and Reconciliation presented Ixil leaders with three bound copies of the genocide sentence for the people of Nebaj, Chajul and Cotzal.

CALDH and the AJR present the genocide sentence in Nebaj.
Foreground sign "To tell the truth is not a crime". Photo: NISGUA

Ixil leaders proudly hold the genocide sentence.
Photo: Marcha indígena campesina y popular
Indigenous leaders from all over Guatemala also joined the Day of Dignity activities in solidarity with the Ixil people. In addition, an assembly of indigenous authorities formed in Nebaj to concretely plan activities for August 9, the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. Together, the authorities drafted a declaration based on their meetings. Below we share our translation of the declaration. Read the Spanish version here.

The Ancestral Indigenous Maya and Xinka Authorities of the 48 Communities of Totonicapán, the Mam Nation, the Xinka People, the Pokoman, Kaqchikel, Uspanteko, and Ixil Peoples

We are gathered together in the heart of the Ixil region, specifically in Nebaj, first to commemorate the 1936 uprising of the principal leaders of the Ixil people, of which 7 were shot by the Jorge Ubico dictatorship, and then to share our experiences, our struggles, our resistance and resilience, our joys, our sadness, our laughing, our weeping, our dreams, our frustrations, our past and our future:


To reaffirm that we are not the descendants of defeated or subjected people and heroes. Throughout the last five centuries, thousands of uprisings in defense of life and territory have been recorded, such as those of our ancestors Atanasio Tzul, Lucas Akiral, Aj Poop B’atz’, Manuel Tot, and the principal leaders of the Ixil people in 1936, among many others.

To value the struggle, resistance and participation of women, rural farmworkers, students, professionals, people defending their rights, their natural resources and territories in the face of extractive policies such as those in San José El Golfo, San Pedro Ayampuc, Rio Hondo Zacapa, the Chorti People, among others.

To continue the resistance of our people and communities based on our common history, looking towards the future in the construction of the good life in a plurinational, democratic and just state.

To celebrate the International Day of Indigenous Peoples on August 9 of the present year, together with the rest of the Guatemalan people and as peoples with the same past, present and future.

To strengthen our community authorities, our processes of organizing, our thoughts, feelings and community decision-making practices and to act in a collective manner for the satisfaction of our needs and defense of our rights.

To call on all of Guatemala's ancestral indigenous authorities and social organizations that already participate in defense of our rights and territory, as well as the Garífuna people to participate in the celebration on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, and to support other actions that our peoples' authorities put forward.

We reject all resolutions, attempts, proposals or initiatives that attempt to declare invalid, or try to regulate from a Western viewpoint, the community consultations which have been carried out, are carried out, and will continue to be carried out by our peoples.

We reject any measure stemming from the government which exclude and repudiate our right to decide over the future of our peoples and our country.

"May the dawn break, may the first light arrive, 

may the people have life and useful existence"

Council of Maya Ixil Authorities, Board of Directors of the Communal Mayors of the 48 Communities of Totonicapán, the Council of the Maya Mam Nation, Xinka Parliament, Kaqchikel, Uspanteka and Pokomam Indigenous Authorities, and the National Council of Ancestral Authorities.

Nebaj, waq’ib’ aq’b’al, junab’ jun iq’, jun katún, kajlajuj b’aqtun

Nebaj, June 22, 2013