Guatemalan government forced to declare state of emergency following rising unrest against cement project
Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina declared a 15-day state of emergency on 22 September in San Juan Sacatepéquez, Guatemala department. The declaration followed the death of 11 people and injury to more than 20 others on 19 September during a series of violent incidents triggered by a dispute in the Los Pajoques village that involved supporters and opponents of a USD750 million cement plant currently being constructed by Guatemalan firm Cementos Progreso. Communities at the site also oppose the construction of a ring road connecting 54 municipalities. The government has also confirmed that the dispute also led to the setting on fire of houses and vehicles in Los Pajoques.
Abalone Farmers Storm Chinese Shipyard
SHANGHAI, Sept 23 (Reuters) – A shipyard in China’s southeast has suspended operations after at least 500 farmers, who blame water pollution from the yard for killing their abalone harvest, stormed the yard and smashed its offices, an official at the shipyard said on Tuesday. There has been no work at the Fujian Huadong Shipyard, which sits on the north coast of Luoyuan Bay in Fujian province, since last Wednesday, said an assistant manager at the factory who gave only his surname, Zhang.
Farmers protest planned $50 billion canal in Nicaragua
MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Hundreds of farmers on Tuesday demonstrated against a new $50 billion waterway aimed at rivaling the Panama Canal, irate at plans to expropriate the land they work. “We do not want the canal to be built. Nobody should come in here and take over our land,” said Ronald Enríquez at a march in the southern town of Potosí, where participants scuffled with police. The mega-project through Nicaragua — which would link the Caribbean and the Pacific — has been assigned to a Chinese company, HK Nicaragua Development (HKND). Demonstrators chanted “We do not want the Chinese here,” and “the police are on the side of the Chinese,” at the second such show of opposition in the Rivas department in less than a week.
Argentina workers burn US flags in protest rally
Workers laid off by an American auto parts company in Argentina have burnt US flags during a protest march on Washington’s embassy in the country’s capital, Buenos Aires. The Wednesday evening protest rally was triggered by job losses at a manufacturing plant run by US auto parts maker Lear as the Argentine automotive industry reels from an ailing economy. Hundreds of Argentinean workers, many of them laid off by the American company, rallied in front of the US embassy to demand their jobs back. The angry protesters set fire to US flags and chanted slogans against the owners of Lear as armed police officers blocked off any access to the grounds of the heavily guarded embassy.
Vietnamese Court Jails Seven Farmers for Protesting Land Grabs
A Vietnamese court has ordered seven farmers jailed for up to 22 months on charges of disturbing public order after they resisted land grabs to make way for urban development projects in their village. They were arrested in March and April in Duong Noi village, about 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) southwest of the capital Hanoi, for preventing police from enforcing the land seizures. The court on Tuesday sentenced two of them — Tran Van Mien and Tran Van Sang — to 22 months and 20 months in prison, respectively, while the other five were sentenced to between six and 18 months in jail last week.