[News] Guatemalan Indigenous Government Denounces US Military Presence

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Wed Jan 17 10:46:05 EST 2018


https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Guatemalan-Indigenous-Government-Denounces-US-Military-Presence-20180116-0038.html 



  Guatemalan Indigenous Government Denounces US Military Presence

16 January 2018
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The Plurinational Ancestral Government of the Akateko, Chuj, Popti and 
Q'anjob'al Maya, C. A., has denounced U.S. military presence in their 
territories, claiming it's part of a government's militarization 
strategy to suppress the population's opposition to corporate activity.

According to a press release published Tuesday, on January 9 and 10, 
three helicopters carrying U.S. military personnel were seen flying over 
Q'anjob'al in Huehuetenango, Guatemala before landing in Ixquisis (also 
known as Yichkisis) – a ranch base to military and police presence.

The helicopters flew over several communities in northern Huehuetenango, 
raising concern among the local population. It was later discovered that 
the aircraft belong to the Southern Command of the U.S. Army.

They were identified as UH-60 Black Hawks from the Joint Task 
Force-Bravo military base in Palmerola, Honduras, according to a report 
by Prensa Comunitaria.

The Ixquisis territory, which is home to the hydroelectric company 
PDHSA, has had national military presence since 2014. Former President 
Otto Perez Molina established the base, which was a request from the 
hydroelectric company to calm relations with residents, who oppose the 
plan to build three additional plants.

Witnesses claim that 16 military officers, seven civilians, company reps 
and members of Guatemala's army were seen near the area that the 
helicopters landed.

PDHSA confirmed that members of the U.S. military are present and have 
paired with Guatemalan troops to explore the possible implementation of 
new medical programs next month.

A representative for the Plurinational Ancestral Government, Julio 
Gomez, declared that “the presence of military aircraft are a serious 
provocation to the people of the municipality. The reports and 
testimonies against military presence within the company's territory are 
plenty and the State still hasn't taken care of it.”

In the release, the Plurinational Ancestral Government opposed the 
alleged implementation of any medical program, saying it should be the 
responsibility of the health ministry. The release reminded the 
government to honor their international agreements to ban military 
drills in their territory.

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