Guatemala decrees a state of siege in the municipality of El Estor |  News

Guatemala decreed this Sunday a state of siege in a municipality in the department of Izabal, in the northeast of the country, where the police in recent days have repressed indigenous Mayan Q’eqcxhis communities who reject mining on their lands.

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The measure, in force for 30 days, will limit the right to demonstrate and allow the security forces to carry out arrests without a judge’s warrant, among other constitutional restrictions, the government detailed in a decree published in the Diario de Centroamérica, the official gazette.

“In the municipality of El Estor (…) various inhabitants and armed groups have carried out a series of actions that fit into well-founded indications of violent acts and attacks against the security forces,” the decree stated.

The Presidency also ordered that the Army participate in security actions while the state of siege lasted.

The decree justifies the imposition of a state of siege due to “actions that affect the order, governance and security of the inhabitants by virtue of the fact that people and armed groups have carried out acts of violence against the security forces and the freedom of movement of the population”.

Residents of the region of Mayan origin denounced infiltrated groups to cause violence, thus justifying the militarization and the state of siege.



For two days, thousands of policemen have repressed peasant and indigenous settlers by throwing tear gas at them, while rains of stones were thrown from both sides, leaving several wounded.



Local journalists denounced that during the clashes members of the police forces threatened them not to record or take photographs.

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