Indigenous Community raises its voice against extractivism in Guatemala
The Community of La Trementina is located on the edges of “The Mountain of Las Granadillas.” The mountain protects the only source of water that benefits more than six hundred thousand mestizo and Mayan inhabitants Ch’orti’, in the driest region of Central America located between the municipalities of La Unión, Gualán, and Zacapa in the department of Zacapa; Jocotán, Camotán and Chiquimula in the department Chiquimula, Guatemala, Central America.
The State of Guatemala has authorized licenses for immoderate logging of the forests of La Montaña De Las Granadillas, favoring local farmers. This is happening despite the existing proposed law (5193) which declares “The Mountain of Las Granadillas” as legally protected area as a Spring Water Protective Reserve.
The National Civil Police, Public Ministry, DIPRONA, PDH, among other entities, used extreme force and violence to evict the communities who stood up against logging the forests of the Mountain of Las Granadillas. This resistance has lasted for more than 15 years. The communities submitted proposals for the conservation and proper use of the forest because they are aware that it is the only mountain supplying water that to the populations of Zacapa and Chiquimula. Nonetheless, their proposals have not been heard by the authorities and they have suffered violence from the State and private entities.
What is happening in the Trementina community is very similar to when King Ahab and his wife sought to appropriate Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21). This corrupt and ruthless marriage falsely accused Nabot and executed him until they appropriated the property. However, this crime of dispossession and lynching was not hidden or unpunished. God raised the prophet Elijah, who confronted those ruthless rulers. In the voice of the prophet, God dictated the sentence against those corrupt rulers, because the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. She is not merchandise and not something to be destroyed.
Global Ministries’ Partner, the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala, along with other ecumenical and social organizations submitted a press release condemning the situation on the Tremendina community, available in English or Spanish.
We invite our brothers and sisters to raise a voice of condemnation of those destroying our sister, the land, and her caretakers. Prevent crime, protect life.