“La Puya Lives Because It Resists” reads a mural, Photo credit: Romi Fischer-Schmidt

Organizations and individuals from around the world, including BTS, came together to offer words of admiration and solidarity with the La Puya Peaceful Resistance. For 12 years, the communities of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc have stood in unwavering resistance to the violent imposition of the El Tambor gold mine by US-based mining company, Kappes, Cassiday & Associates.

In 2016, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court suspended the mining project because of the failure to consult with the affected Indigenous Maya Kaqchikel and Xinka communities in the area. Since then, Kappes, Cassiday & Associates brought a more than US$400 million suit against the Guatemalan government using the CAFTA-DR agreement, in retribution for the mine closure. As the letter states, “The Guatemalan people should not have to pay a penny to KCA, which operated illegally, relied on violent repression against the peaceful resistance, and is now taking advantage of the neocolonial free trade framework to try to make millions.”

Please find the letter copied below:

12 years of struggle at La Puya in Guatemala:

For water and life with dignity and self-determination

March 2, 2024

This year on March 2, the Peaceful Resistance La Puya will mark 12 years in resistance, reminding us of the fundamental importance of community organization, unity and steadfast commitment to territorial defense and self-determination. We salute the historic 106-day long uprising led by the Ancestral Authorities of Guatemala in defense of democracy and to demand the resignation of corrupt officials. This was essential to ensure the transition of power was carried out with respect for the popular will expressed in the elections on August 20, 2023.

In this context, we celebrate La Puya’s twelfth year and your ongoing local organizing efforts in the Maya Kaqchikel and Xinka communities of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc. Such organizing is vital to sustain the long-term fight in defense of water, territory, health, identity, and respect for their self-determination. This struggle is critical to ensure that the illegal mining project Progreso VII Derivada does not restart and to halt future mining activity in this territory.

Organizing at La Puya demonstrates the importance of building intergenerational processes that value creativity and commitment from the youngest to the oldest. It is a struggle where women’s leadership in the defense of water and community health shines.

We also admire the dignified and committed manner in which your 27 delegates, appointed by their communities, are preparing together with the Indigenous leadership of San José Nacahuil to exercise your self-determination through the Constitutional Court-ordered consultation on the future of the Progreso VII Derivada mining project, suspended since early 2016.

We reaffirm our commitment in solidarity especially at you navigate the consultation and work to ensure that the U.S. company Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) does not unduly intervene in the process, beyond complying with its obligation to share the required information about its mining project.

In addition, we remain attentive for the results of the unjust lawsuit filed by KCA against the State of Guatemala under the terms of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States (CAFTA-DR) at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) for more than US$400 million. The company filed the suit after the suspension of its mining project for lack of consultation with the affected indigenous population. The Guatemalan people should not have to pay a penny to KCA, which operated illegally, relied on violent repression against the peaceful resistance, and is now taking advantage of the neocolonial free trade framework to try to make millions.

We send congratulations and deep respect, hoping that you enjoy your anniversary celebration with much joy and resistance.

Long live La Puya!


Latin America

Protection International Mesoamérica

Red Latinoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Sociales y Ambientales


Asociacion Campesina de Agricultura Ancestral Maya Q’eqchi’

Asociadas por lo Justo JASS Mesoamerica

H.I.J.O.S. Guatemala


Protection International

Resistencia Costa Sur


Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio

Bios Iguana A.C.

Centro para los Derechos Humanos Fray Juan de Larios

Cochitlehua Centro Mexicano de Intercambios A.C.

Comité Autónomo de Agua Potable de San Pablo Tecalco, Defensa del Agua

Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusco (FPDS), Chiapas


Mira: Feminismos y Democracias

Organización 12 Pueblos Originarios de Tecámac

Otros Mundos Chiapas/Amigos de la Tierra México

Red Mexicana de Afectadas/os por la Minería (REMA)

Rizoma Entretejiendo la Defensa de los Bienes Comunes

Sabuesos Guerreras A.C

Vecinos del Cerro de Tecalco-Chiconauhtla


Rettet den Regenwald


DKA Austria


Pax Christi Internacional


Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network (ARSN)

Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine (CDHAL)

Education in Action

Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op

Lost Time Media

Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS)

Martha Justice Ministry, Sisters of St. Martha

Mining Injustice Solidarity Network

Mining Justice Alliance

MiningWatch Canada

Plataforma Canada Guatemaltecxs Exiliadxs por Terrorismo de Estado

Projet Acompagnement Québec Guatemala – PAQG

Rights Action

Todos por Guatemala Canadá


Igapo Project

País Valenciano

Perifèries del món


Unidos em Defesa de Covas do Barroso

United Kingdom

The Gaia Foundation


Mundu Bakean

Salva la Selva

United States

Alianzas of Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington

AZ Immigration Alliance

Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)

Community Organizing Center

Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC)


Guatemala Human Rights Commission

Guatemaya L.A. Mujeres en Resistencia

Institute for Policy Studies – Global Economy Program

InterReligious Task Force on Central America

New Hampshire-Vermont Guatemala Accompaniment Project

Nicaragua Center for Community Action

Project Underdog International

Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator

Public Intellectuals for Social and Spare Change

Task Force on the Americas

Unite North Metro Denver

US-El Salvador Sister Cities

Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective


Kelsey Alford-Jones

Maya Alvarado Chávez

Luis Alfredo Alvizures Garcia

Kathryn Anderson, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS)

Mike Antoniades

Colin Argyle, UNIFOR

Teresa Auldridge, CEDEPCA Support Group

Laura Avalos

Dan Bieker

Richard Blum

Robert Bossie

Bridget Brehen

Frank Brincka

Andrea Brock

Hna. Dani Brought, Adoratrices de la Sangre de Cristo

Mary Brown

Pamela Brubaker

Stephan Brües, Editorial Staff, News and Information on Guatemala Fijate!

Élisabeth Bruins

Karen Bryant

Molly Butler

Maxwell T. Butterworth

Vilma Caceres

Hugo L. Camey Castellanos, Concejal Semilla San José del Golfo

Laura Carlsen, Mira: Feminismos y Democracias

Carolina, SOMI Panamá

Kathy Carpenter

Mikhaila Carr

Tara Carr-Lemke

Louise Casselman

Rafael Castillo, USAC

Marco Castillo, Latin American & Caribbean Solidarity Network

Brisna Caxaj-Rowe, Red Internacional de Solidaridad con Guatemala

Mark Cohen

Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace

Justin Connidis

Pam Cooley

Nick Copeland, Virginia Tech

Rose Coulton

Keith Cowan, NISGUA

Val Croft

Keneth Crouse, First Congregational UCC

Marian Dalke

Diana Da Silva

Andrea Doll

Marie-Dominik Langlois, Université d’Ottawa

Arthur Donart, Pax Christi

Lynne Duffy, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS)

David Ericson

Oscar Escobar, Quesada Verde

Nico Estrada

Asano Fertig

Juan Gallardo

Lucy Gibson

Robert Gilman

Mary Girard

Olga Gladkikh, Martha Justice Ministry

Glendy, Movimiento Laudato Sí

Germaine Gogel

Jhonathan Gómez, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)

Lucero Gonzalez Alvarado

Patricia Goudvis

Amy Grace

Carey Graham

Liza Grandia, University of California-Davis, Department of Native American Studies

Rax Green

Dirk Groenenberg

William Grosh

Lawrence Hager

Amy Harlib, Yoga For Peace, Justice, Harmony With the Planet

Kevin Hayes

Marta Hernandez

Cecilia Hidalgo, PROCLADEGUA

Nicholas A. Jackson, Denver Justice and Peace Committee

Zoë Heyn-Jones

Larry Hum

Dee Halzack

Maria Hamlin Zuniga

Bernard Hammond

Will Hanlon

Helene Hannah

Sandra Hernandez, Asociacion de Guatemaltecos de Ottawa- Gatineau

Araceli Hernández Cruz, Casa de la Mujer Indígena Maseual Siuakalli Yankuikej Siuamej

Mateo Herrera, Iniciativa de Memoria Histórica

Sidney Hollander, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)

Catherine Hughes

Shin Imai, Osgoode Hall Law School

Elizabeth Ishmael

Helen Jaccard, Womens International League for Peace & Freedom

Janette, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS)

Sabrina Jeria

Sarah Johnson

Lois Jordaan

José Pablo Juárez

Beatrice Junod

Mo Kafka

Zia Kandler

Rebekah Kaump

Celeste Kearney, UUCAVA

Thomas Kemple

Val Kistler

Sara Koopman

Richard Krushnic

Ausra Kubilius, SOAWatch

Isabella Lamb

Anna Leather

Pierre LeBlanc

Rudi Leibik

Cyan LeMoal

Amy Lira, Nobel Women´s Initiative

John Liss

Susanne Litke

Laura Locascio, NISGUA

Leslie Lomas

Ana Letícia Lottis

P. A. Lowry

Ken Luckhardt

Sandra Luna

Rebecca MacDonald

Egla Martinez

Vaclav Masek, USC

Linda Mashburn

Joan McFarland, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS)

Andrés McKinley, UCA

Derek McKinley

Eleanor Millard

Eric Mills

Carol I Moeller Costa, MITF/ Task Force on the Americas

Emily & Joe Moore, Freescout Law

Michael Moore

Mary Ann Morris

Martin Mowforth

Harriet Mullaney, AFSC

Linda Musmeci Kimball

Dr. Catherine Nolin, University of Northern British Columbia

Liza Noriega

Liisa North

Olivia, Mira: Feminismos y Democracias

Rob O’Brien, NH/VT GAP

Maureen O’Connor, UMASS Lowell

Ronalth Ivan Ochaeta Aguilar, Diputado del Congreso de la República, Guatemala

Paula Orellana

Stephen Oren

Mackenzie Ostberg

Philip Pandolfi

Erin Papa

Sandra Patricia, Comuera de Nahuatzen

Alexandra Pedersen, Adjunct Professor, Queen’s University

Ruby Phillips

Martha Pierce, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)

Margarita Pineda Rodríguez, MURILPAZ

Bernard Pomerleau

Cristen Poynter

Richard S. Pressman, Ph.D., St. Mary’s University

Lisa Rankin

Susan Redlich

August Reed

Marleen Renders

Sunny Robinson, MAPA LACWG

Lisa Rock

Jodi Rodar

Zenaide Rodrigues, Protection International

James Rodríguez, mimundo.org

Iliana Isabel Rodríguez Ruano, Apostolado Social de la Compañía de Jesús

Kathryn Rodriguez, Denver Justice and Peace

Ángel Rojas

Nora Roman

Izabella Ronchi

Etienne Roy-Grégoire

Laurie Rubin

Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca

Pat Rumer

Mark Sayers

Kathleen Schmitz

Jens Schneider

Carol Scott, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS)

Melisande Seguin

Cristina Selena Mendez

Susan Sheinfeld

Lynn Shoemaker

Ellen Showell

Manuel Schulte

Tyler Slaney, UNBC

Roger E. Soles

Vicky Steinitz

Pip Strachan, Pip Strachan Rehabilitation Services

Rebecca Tatham, University of Guelph

Dayana Tepen

Don and Roberta Thurstin Timmerman, Peace Action

Michael Tomczyszyn

Joanne Tompkins, Martha Justice Ministry, Antigonish

Monique Tonet

Karine Vanthuyne, University of Ottawa

Marie-Jo Vargas

Mario F. Venegas, PhD

Susan A Verbalis

Melinda Vinqvist-Tymchuk, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS)

Kathy Virag

Chelsea Viteri, Mazorca Facilitation

William Walls

Lee Ann Ward, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS)

Elizabeth Watts

Laura Wells

Emily Willard

Meredith Wilkinson

Claudia Willemin, Pluriversidad Maya Ch’orti’

Steve Wise

Carole Woodhall

Lenora Yarkie

Leslie Zeiger

Roni Zeiger

Rebeca Zuniga-Hamlin