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Guatemalan Ombudsman denounces illegal mine activity and police repression

Guatemala City, Oct 23 (EFE) .- The Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman, Jordán Rodas, expressed his concern this Saturday about the police repression of a group of indigenous communities in resistance in the northeast of the country, who oppose the a mine of Russian capital that works “illegally”.

Rodas indicated through its communication channels that the Fénix mine of the company Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN), a subsidiary of the Russian company Solway Investment Group, operates illegally.

“Since 2019, the Constitutional Court (the highest court in the country) ordered CGN to suspend the mining exploitation license, for not having carried out prior consultation,” the ombudsman emphasized.

However, despite the ban, Rodas assured that “the Government of Guatemala”, chaired by Alejandro Giammattei, “guards CGN trucks” to enter the mine and at the same time the security forces “repress the population and journalists.” .

The mine is located in the department of Izabal, specifically in the municipality of El Estor, some 300 kilometers northeast of Guatemala City, where dozens of Q’eqchi ‘indigenous people have been in resistance for three weeks.

Members of the indigenous community had been on the roadside for 21 days in a makeshift camp in order to protest against the operation of the mine.

Both on Friday and this Saturday, hundreds of agents of the National Civil Police have attacked indigenous communities in resistance with tear gas, according to various sources.

The confrontation on Friday left journalists wounded and threatened by some of the agents, as detailed by the Prensa Comunitaria media or politicians such as the opposition deputy Aldo Dávila, who was at the scene.

Similarly, this Saturday the Police and members of the Guatemalan Army fired tear gas to dissolve a demonstration made up of the indigenous community, always in El Estor, Izabal, in the only Guatemalan department with access to the Atlantic Ocean.

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