Internships with indigenous people by mine leave 19 policemen injured in Guatemala

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Guatemala City, Oct 24 (EFE) .- The Government of Guatemala reported this Saturday that 19 members of the security forces were injured in clashes during the last two days with indigenous communities that oppose the operation of a mine in the northeast Of the territory.

The Government presided over by Alejandro Giammattei specified in a press release that four agents were injured “with a firearm” and another 15 “were seriously” injured “at the hands of the protesters,” who carried “stones, machetes, bombs and other weapons. of fire”.

The mine, called Fénix and with Russian capital, is located in the department of Izabal, specifically in the municipality of El Estor, some 300 kilometers northeast of Guatemala City, where dozens of indigenous Q’eqchi ‘remain in resistance since three weeks ago.

The company that owns the mine is the Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN), a subsidiary of the Russian firm Solway Investment Group.

Members of the indigenous community have been on the roadside for 21 days in a makeshift camp in order to protest against the operation of the mine, but in the last two days they have suffered repression by the security forces, with several injured, including women and children, with no specific number reported at the time.

According to the Giammattei government, the protesters are “a small group of people who are presumed not to reside in the area” and have carried out “roadblocks”.

For his part, the Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman, Jordán Rodas, expressed his concern this Saturday about the police repression of indigenous communities and said that the mine is operating “illegally.”

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“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.” .

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