Article by PBI-Canada

Photo: PBI-Guatemala accompanying Nuevo Dia in April 2019.

On October 9, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted an update about Nuevo Dia (CCCND), an Indigenous Maya Ch’orti’ campesino/peasant farmer organization, and the threats it experiences due to its work in defence of territory.

PBI-Guatemala reports:

We continued to monitor the worrying security situation of the New Day Chorti Campesino Central Coordinator (CCCND) closely throughout the month as aggressions against its members have not ceased.

We are concerned about the security situation in the Olopa communities, whose members have been suffering threats, raids and robberies as a result of their involvement in the peaceful resistance to mining and other extractive projects.

On September 3, we accompanied one of their members to file a complaint with the Crimes Against Activists Unit from the Public Ministry (in the capital), for the raid and theft of documents perpetrated at his home in August.

Likewise, we continue to monitor community leaders Héctor Ovidio Vázquez, from the community of Lelá Chancó, and Pedro Esquivel, from the community of Lelá Obraje, in the municipality of Camotán, Chiquimula. They are suffering constant threats, defamations and surveillance as a result of their work as human rights defenders.

We maintain daily contact with both, in addition to meetings with national and international authorities to express concern about their situation.

PBI-Guatemala has previously explained: “CCCND work in the four Ch’orti’ municipalities in the east of the country – Camotán, Jocotán, Olopa and La Unión – in the department of Chiquimula.”

It adds: “The work of CCCND revolves around the defence of the territory and its main concerns and actions focus on the impacts of projects and megaprojects on the environment and local economies.”

A key struggle Nuevo Dia is engaged in is its peaceful resistance and blockade of the ‘Cantera Los Manantiales’ antimony mine that lacks their free, prior and informed consent. For more on that, please click here.

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied Nuevo Dia since 2009.

To read the full PBI-Guatemala monthly information package for September, which includes the update on Nuevo Dia, please click here.