Today, April 13th, 2021, marks the 7th anniversary of the murder of Topacio Reynoso Pacheco. At the age of 16, she was a member of the peaceful resistance against a Canadian-owned silver mine near her home in Mataquescuintla, Guatemala.
Topacio was a co-founder of the Mataquescuintla youth movement to resist the Escobal mine. As a young activist, leader, and artist she drew, painted, sang songs, played the guitar, and wrote poetry to engage other youth in the defence of their territory and rights. Topacio’s memory and legacy remains an inspiration to youth resisting the repression and violence of megaprojects.
The Breaking the Silence Network commemorates the anniversary of Topacio’s murder by celebrating her legacy and by continuing to stand in solidarity with her family and the communities affected by the Escobal mine as they continue defending their territory and seeking to end the impunity behind Topacio’s murder.
BTS will soon be launching the 6th annual Topacio Reynoso Pacheco Award, to celebrate youth who pursue environmental justice through art. Find out more by reading about last year’s recipients here.