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Guatemala: Mayan Activists Protest Dirty Deeds of a Canadian Mining Giant

June 2, 2009

From Boing Boing.net.

The excellent work of Guatemala-based photojournalist James Rodriguez has been featured on BB a number of times before. The most recent photo-essay on his blog documents a protest march that took place a few days ago in the capital here, carried out by indigenous people from San Miguel Ixtahuacan, where the Canadian mining giant Goldcorp operates the Marlin Gold Mine. Background here on the mine, and Goldcorp’s campaign of harassment and intimidation of indigenous residents.

A few meters down the road from the Canadian Embassy, one of the many Goldcorp billboards that can be found in Guatemala City read: “We invest in the dreams of a developing country.”

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Some residents of San Miguel Ixtahuacan identified the billboard and felt it was inappropriate due to the damage they have suffered from the mine’s presence in their communities. Gradually, protestors began tearing little pieces as an expression of discontent with the mining company that has incited grave social conflicts. Dozens of people suddenly charged the billboard euphorically in a festive mood.

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