Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nickel Mine, Lead Bullets: Maya Q'eqchi' seek justice in Guatemala and Canada

...Five and a half years ago, Chub was playing soccer in the community of La Unión, in the department of Izabal, when security guards from the Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN), a mining corporation, showed up, he told the court. Chub heard a commotion coming from the direction of company-owned hospital property and approached the fence separating the company complex from the soccer field to see what was going on, he said.

"I saw Mynor Padilla pointing his pistol at me," Chub testified. "When I turned around, I heard the gunshot."

Chub is one of several Maya Q'eqchi' community members shot on September 27, 2009 during a crackdown on protests over threats that a group would be evicted from its ancestral lands near CGN's Fenix ferro-nickel mining project. Chub is paralyzed from the chest down as a result, and doctors determined it too risky to remove the bullet lodged near his spine. Adolfo Ich, a teacher and well-known community leader from La Unión, died after being beaten, attacked with a machete, and shot by CGN security personnel, according to witnesses. At least seven others were wounded on the same day, according to court case plaintiffs.


No comments: