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Opponent of Vancouver mining transnational gunned down in Guatemala
Submitted by CHAN on June 16, 2012 - 15:48
On June 13th, 2012, after a month of receiving death threats regarding her opposition to a mine in her community, Yolanda Oquely Veliz, 33, was shot three times last night by gunmen on a motorcycle as she left a community roadblock near the entrance to Vancouver-based Radius Gold Inc.’s El Tambor gold mine in San José del Golfo, Guatemala. She is currently in stable, but serious condition.
Radius Gold, whose head offices are at Suite 650, 200 Burrard Street, Vancouver, faces staunch opposition to its mine by local residents who fear the open pit gold mine will pollute their water, and damage their lands.
In early May, Guatemalan president Gen. Otto Perez Molina sent troops to San Jose del Golfo to assist Radius to bring machinery to its mine site, in the face of widespread community opposition.
Radius is one of several Canadian companies involved in serious conflicts with communities in Guatemala, where opponents of their mines face threats, attacks, sexual violence and murder. Other Canadian mining companies operating in the country include Vancouver’s Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources, and Toronto’s Hudbay Resources.
For more information about Yoli and San Jose del Golfo’s struggle against Radius Gold visit MiMundo.org. Amnesty International met with Ms. Oquely earlier this year due to concerns about the safety of El Tambor opponents in the face of ongoing threats. Amnesty has created an urgent action regarding the attack. Please take a few moments to send a message to the Guatemalan authorities.