On January 14, 2014, Guatemalan President, and former general Otto Perez Molina, ordered troops to the Mayan municipality of Sipakapa, department of San Marcos, in western Guatemala. The armed forces arrived on behalf of Goldcorp Inc. that is trying to illegally expand its “Marlin” mine into Sipakapan territory.
In 2005, the Mayan Sipakapan people overwhelmingly rejected Goldcorp’s mine in their territory in a legally binding community consultation, documented in the film “Sipakapa Is Not For Sale.”
On January 14, 2014, thousands of campesinos from Sipakapa, San Miguel Ixtahuacan and 5 other municipalities came to Sipakapa to resist the expansion of Goldcorp that is trying to carry out exploration activities at the “Los Chocoyos” site in the village of Pie de la Cuesta, Sipakapa.
During the peaceful protest, a mining company employee signed a public agreement with Sipakapan community members, agreeing on:
- the definitive suspension of Goldcorp’s exploration work at the “Los Chocoyos” site in the Pie de la Cuesta village
- the immediate withdrawal of Goldcorp’s workers from the “Los Chocoyos” site
- a 2 day period for Goldcorp to withdraw its mining equipment from the area
There is fear in Sipakapa and San Miguel Ixtahuacan that Goldcorp will not carry out with these commitments, but rather resort, again, to repression by the Guatemalan military and police forces so as to proceed with the illegal mining operations at the Los Chocoyos mine site.