Today’s sessions are more emotional and harder to overtake because of the stories of the government assassinate town people in the mining resistance, deny the existence of civil war, and set up obstacles to prevent Rio Montt of being accused. While the mining site at La Puya (also the name of the project) and the genocide trial are two different topics that the Guatemalans are confronting, all speakers told us that all conflicts with the government are due to their economic interests.
In the morning, the speaker told us that there were economic elites who pressured to overturn the prosecution because they did not want to find guilty of supporting the military in the past. For example, they would bribe the judges so the case could not move forward even when the prosecutors had strong evidence from the old military documentations, witnesses, and victims.
Then, we visited La Puya in the afternoon. La Puya is about an hour away from the capital, and it has rich minerals and gold around the region. The resistance rotates every 24 hours with other town residents. The Guatemalan government and the American mining company Kappes Cassidy and Associates (KCA’s, since March of 2012) have attempted to charge the resistance with violence crimes by assassinating leaders of the group, send 400 riot police to block the mere road to get to the occupied site from the town, and call La Puya as a “town of prostitution.” Though none of the threats have vacillated the town members, KCA’s continues to pressure the government to disband the community resistance. On the other hand, the government invited both sides to reach a consent about mining at La Puya. The government do not want to be responsible in resolving the conflict, thus, they have given minimum support to the community members.
As I have mentioned in my first article, the government promotes foreign investment of any kind: tourism and FDI. The government has no interest of Guatemalans’ dignity or life, instead, they only concern about their own profits. Guatemala is known to be extremely open to foreign investment. As long as they could gain some benefits, they would provide license to companies to exploit the natural resources and the people. I understand that economic development is the only way to stay competitive in the world market, at the same time, I think the government has used the wrong method to strengthen it’s country. In China, we have a saying of which the country can only be stronger when its citizens are rich. Therefore, Guatemala should not be dependent on foreign investors and let them spoil Guatemalan people’s life, instead, the government should seek returning justice and health to it’s citizens as the priority.