Tag Archives: San Rafael Las Flores

Guatemala Declares Emergency In 4 Towns Following Kidnappings, Shootouts

3 May

Cross Posted from Reuters:

GUATEMALA CITY, May 2  – Guatemala declared an emergency in four southeastern towns on Thursday, suspending citizens’ constitutional rights in an area where deadly protests over a proposed silver mine have erupted in recent weeks.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez announced the move in an effort to quell protests targeting the mine belonging to Canadian miner Tahoe Resources Inc. Two people have been killed in the demonstrations.

The company’s security guards shot and wounded six demonstrators on Saturday, said Mauricio Lopez, Guatemala’s security minister.

The next day, protesters, who say the Escobal silver mine near the town of San Rafael Las Flores will contaminate local water supplies, kidnapped 23 police officers, Lopez said.

One police officer and a demonstrator were killed in a shootout on Monday when police went to free the hostages, said Lopez.

“I am not going to allow this to continue,” Perez told reporters. “We have conducted a six-month investigation in this area with the attorney general’s office for various criminal activities.”

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