On June 6, PBI-Guatemala posted:
“#PBI accompanies 6 criminalized defenders of Olopa in the intermediate phase hearing. The six are part of a legal process against 38 defenders of the territory and members of the Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa and Quezaltepeque accused by workers of a company of having illegally detained them. The judge ruled that these workers cannot become plaintiffs in the case. In addition, he agreed that the defendants can be represented by their lawyers at the next hearing so as not to miss work. The hearing to offer evidence follows on Friday.”
Prensa Comunitaria also tweeted:
“On the outskirts of the Chiquimula Judicial Organism, the Olopa Indigenous Council is presently awaiting the start of the intermediate stage hearing against it. The members of the Council are criminalized by the mining company Cantera de Los Manatiales.”
In 2015, the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines granted a 30-year mining license to Cantera Los Manantiales to mine in the area about 200 kilometers east of Guatemala City without consulting the Ch’orti‘ communities of Olopa.
Prensa Comunitaria has reported: “The mining project is rejected by the population and various organizations that claim that the communities were never consulted about its installation and has caused serious damage to the environment.”
This past February, Prensa Comunitaria tweeted a short video with the caption: “Jesús Méndez from the San Nicolás indigenous community of #Quezaltepeque, affirms that they accompany the 6 indigenous authorities of #Olopa accused by the Los Manantiales mining company because they are defending the land of their ancestors.”
PBI-Guatemala has also noted: “The Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa and Quezaltepeque are fighting for recognition as indigenous communities, the recovery of their spirituality, the defense of their territory and the right to free, prior and informed consultation before the entry of mining projects into their territory.”
PBI-Guatemala began accompanying the Maya Ch’orti’ Indigenous Authorities of Olopa and Quezaltepeque in June 2021.