The Indigenous Community of San Francisco Quezaltepeque is located in the municipality of the same name, in the department of Chiquimula. It belongs to the Maya Ch'orti' people and is represented by a board of directors composed of 30 ancestral authorities elected annually by the 23 communities and 96 hamlets that make up the community.

Area of work and rights defended

Their struggle is for the land, 243 caballerías bought between 1710 and 1805, in the name of the common people and natives of San Francisco Quezaltepeque. However, the majority of these lands are not recognised by the municipality, which is why their struggle revolves around the recovery of this ancestral land. They also defend their territory against the entry of extractive projects, especially mining.

Description of the problem

The indigenous community of San Francisco Quezaltepeque is resisting a mining company working in the municipality: Minerales Sierra Pacifico S.A. This company has five exploration licenses for gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc. The Ch'orti' people are concerned about the negative impacts of these mining activities and also about the contamination of the water of the Rio Grande by the honey water from coffee production, which could be worsened by the mining activity.

In addition, the people who make up the community and who are carrying out these demands denounce that they suffer discrimination and racism on the part of the state and municipal public institutions, who on many occasions do not attend to their demands and complaints.

These same people are receiving threats and facing different criminalisation processes for defending their territory, denouncing environmental impacts and demanding free, prior and informed consultation with the communities affected by these activities.