I knew it was going to be dangerous and ugly. I knew this was going to limit me, where to go and what to do. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to find my place in this city this coming year.
In San Miguel Ixtahaucán, Guatemala, the Mina Marlin gold mine, operated by Goldcorp, has divided indigenous communities through gifts, benefits, and violence. The mine has caused a lot of damage. It has not only had a profound impact on the environment but also on the social cohesion of communities and families in the area, and on their cultural ties with the land.
Independent from the Occupy Movement in North-America and Europe, a movement of slum dwellers in Guatemala is occupying the street in front of Congress. They are protesting against the living conditions in the slums and a disfunctional housing policy. To change their situation they not only occupied Congress but made a bill and eventually started a hunger strike.
“This land is ours! It does not belong to the State. It is ours, as indigenous people!” says 20 year old Guatemalan Lorena Sanchez when on the 3rd of May 2011 a state representative from Fondo de Tierras, a government department regulating access to land, arrived in Tzalbal to tell its people they are living on state property.