Guatemalans Clash with Canadian Mining Company

Guatemalan Mayans occupying land owned by a Canadian mining company clashed with police over the weekend.

The police were able to temporarily evict the protestors, but only to have them return and burn down a building owned by Sky Resources Inc. The building reportedly housed the company’s community relations office.

The land has been occupied by hundreds of Mayans since September.

According to Defensoria Q’eqchi’, a development and indigenous rights organization, Martín Che y Gilberto Hun Pop were arrested, while José Chocooj Pan and Carlos Caal Tiul have disappeared since the altercation. The group also reported several injuries.

The local communities oppose the nickel mine because of environmental concerns and claims that their human rights were violated when the Guatemalan government failed to consult them—as mandated by international law—prior to awarding the company the mining concession.