The Guatemala Solidarity Project strongly condemns Guatemalan government and corporate biofuel attacks against the q’eqchi’ communities of Inup Agua Caliente and El Sauce on January 5, 2012. Government police and soldiers joined private security forces in the attack, which occurred in the municipality of Panzos, Alta Verapaz.
At least two people were injured and hundreds of acres of corn, beans and other subsistence crops were destroyed. A helicopter flew low to the ground during the attack to add to the terror of community members. On May 13, 2011, grenades were thrown from helicopters in a similar attack.
The GSP is gravely concerned that this attack will lead to starvation in the communities. Several people have starved to death in GSP partner communities in Panzos since the government allied with biofuel corporations in March, 2011 to start a series of coordinated, violent attacks against q’eqchi’ peasant communities. Several community leaders have also been assassinated and others have been imprisoned.
Please view a video (with Spanish subtitles) about the most recent attack at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrP580oYw1w&feature=player_embedded.
Please also read our report from September, 2011 about the attacks at http://guatemalasolidarityproject.org/terrorinpolochic.htm.
Evicted communities have asked us to try to collect funds to support their survival. To make a donation, write a check to “UPAVIM Community Development Foundation” and send to UPAVIM, c/o Laurie Levinger, 28 McKenna Rd, Norwich, VT 05055 You must write “Polochic Valley” in the notes/memo section of your check to ensure that the funds do not go towards our other efforts. Or support via paypal at http://upavim.pursuantgroup.net/english/donate.htm You will see the paypal link, and you must include the words “Polochic Valley” in a note to ensure the funding is delivered correctly
Join us in upcoming international solidarity delegations and human rights accompaniment opportunities. There is an urgent need for an organized international solidarity presence in the region to counteract these violent attacks and the starvation and misery that they have caused. For more information please visit http://guatemalasolidarityproject.org/delegations.htm