Assassination Attempt in Guatemala Linked to Mining Interests of Canada´s Radius Gold Inc.

On June 13, assassins on a motorcycle shot multiple times at Yolanda Oqueli Veliz, a community leader from the municipalities of San José el Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, just out side of Guatemala City.

Yolanda is in critical but stable condition in a Guatemala City Hospital, one bullet still lodged in her body.

Humanitarian-emergency relief funds are needed – see below, to make tax-deductible donations in the USA and Canada.

There is little doubt in people’s minds in San José el Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc that the attempt on her life was carried out by assassins and that she was targeted due to the articulate and passionate community leadership role she has assumed in opposing the illegal and unwanted entry of Radius Gold into their community lands.

On Saturday, May 26, a Rights Action/University of Northern British Colombia delegation traveled to Yolanda’s home community and met with hundreds of community members peacefully resisting the entry of Radius Gold Inc.

May 26, 2012, Grahame Russell, Rights Action co-director, addresses community members. Yolanda is standing to the left. Photo, James Rodriquez,


Add Radius Gold Inc. now to the Canadian “Mining and Repression” Hall of Fame, to the growing list of Canadian mining companies directly and indirectly linked to extreme repression around the world. In the countries where Rights Action work (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador), this list of repression, over the past few years alone, includes: Radius Gold, Goldcorp Inc (attempted assassination – shooting in the eye – of Diodora Hernandez / beatings and attacks on community leaders), Hudbay Minerals/Skye Resources (murder, shooting-wounding of numerous villagers, gang rapes of 11 women villagers), Pacific Rim (murder of 5 villagers). The lists goes on …


On May 18, Rights Action circulated an urgent action communiqué addressing the growing tension and threats of repression caused by Radius Gold’s attempts to illegally push ahead with its gold mining interests, despite widespread community opposition. Read:

In that communiqué, we include a link to a 7-minute film (in Spanish) called “OTRA VEZ LA MINA” (Once Again, Mining). To view:

Yolanda speaks quite extensively in this short film, that was shot during and after the May 8, 2012, attempt, by the gold and silver mining company EXMINGUA (subsidiary of Radius Gold) to enter with a convoy of some 25-30 mining company trucks full of equipment, accompanied by some 25-30 trucks of heavily armed National Police, at 1:00am, so as to avoid the peacefully protesting villagers of San Jose del Golfo and San Pedro Ayumpac who were never consulted about this mining business and who never gave legal permission for a mine to operate in their lands.


Please make financial contributions (tax-deductible in Canada and USA) for the medical costs and family needs of Yolanda Oqueli Veliz. See below.

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Tax Deductible Donations

Rights Action has already been sending general support funds to the communities of San Jose del Golfo and San Pedro Ayumpac that are working for integral community development and the environment. Make check payable to “Rights Action” and mail to:

UNITED STATES:  Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
CANADA:  552 – 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8