restricted access Landscapes of Resistance: Community Opposition to Canadian Mining Operations in Guatemala

This paper examines individual and communal notions of space, place and landscape as these concepts are altered by power, violence and resistance to Canadian mining operations in Guatemala. Preliminary findings are presented documenting the actions and discourses of resistance in the community of La Puya, Guatemala. For nearly two years, community members of La Puya have peacefully blocked the entrance to the El Tambor mine site owned by two successive foreign-owned mining companies. At present, Canadian mining companies and the Guatemala government are intent on exploiting natural resources, in the case of La Puya gold deposits, in order to fuel economic development. Critical development theory serves as a framework to contextualize and situate impacts on communities that oppose resource extraction that does not take their concerns, lives and livelihoods into mind. The experiences of communities that request respect for constitutional, human and environmental rights are highlighted.