Indigenous people of Mexico and Guatemala organize against mining companies and agree to initiate lePublished by MAC on 2005-06-25
Indigenous people of Mexico and Guatemala organize against mining companies and agree to initiate legal and political action against multinational mining activity
San Marcos, Guatemala, June 25, 2005
Members of the Regional Council of Indigenous Peoples from six departments in Guatemala met with representatives of various mexican indigenous, campesino and labour groups, agreeing to initiate activities to organize and strengthen the struggle against the threat that open-pit mining poses to the health and life of millions of people in both countries.
At the end of the conference "Mining and the Heritage of Indigenous People," in which participated Mayan representatives from Guatemalan departments of Huehuetenango, El Quiché, San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán and Sololá, it was agreed to develop a project of legal and political action which would go further than proposed reforms in mining laws, to push for constitutional reforms for the recognition of indigenous people's rights over territory, autonomy and the legitimacy of traditional law, among others.
Members of the Coordination of Autonomous Organizations of the State of Chiapas (COAECH) and of the Ricardo Flores Magón Popular Front of Ixtapa, Chiapas, concluded that the mining projects of transnational companies in Guatemala and México are part of the Plan Puebla-Panama (PPP), and thus the struggle to stop them should be seen within this context, as well as in struggles against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA, or ALCA in Spanish).