National Catholic Reporter

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Guatemala

Resistance continues at Guatemala mine despite attack

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Sister Gloria writes from the La Puya resistance community at El Tambor mine near Guatemala City:

Sunday at two p.m. the Eucharist was concelebrated by 8 priests from different religious congregations, with the presence of many religious. It was an encouraging moment for the people who had a space to share what they had lived on Friday. Their courage is admirable because they are continuing their resistance. You can imagine what it was like being surrounded by the police.

Guatemalan forces attack nonviolent resistance

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On Friday, hundreds of riot police marched into the low hills near Guatemala City and attacked the people maintaining a watch over the road to a proposed mining site, La Puya. Residents have been maintaining this watch for more than two years because water is scarce there and gold mining would both deplete and contaminate the aquifer.

CONFREGUA, the Guatemalan conference of Catholic religious leadership, has been standing with the local community, even taking watches there. On Saturday, CONFREGUA sent the letter below out to all the member communities.

Gold mining's effect on the planet

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Lucky me. I am in Guatemala for a series of meetings between my community, Loretto, and Sagrada Familia here. Thursday we traveled to La Puya, a mine about an hour outside of Guatemala City. The local villagers have been encamped there for 22 months, prepared to block mining equipment from digging wells and starting operations. Earth studies show that gold and possibly uranium lie under the earth.

Growing ecumenism in Guatemala

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I am in Guatemala for a week to investigate religion and politics for "Interfaith Voices," the radio show I host. I hope to report on some of what I see and hear to NCR readers as my schedule permits.

On Monday, I traveled to the small city of Nebaj, high in the mountains of Guatemala. Nebaj is about 99 percent indigenous; its citizens are descendants of the ancient Mayan people who inhabited that land for at least 1,500 years.

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July 4-17, 2014

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