La Colis Resistencia, which is the origin of our decaffeinated coffee and of which Randolfo Pacheco is a member, is a group including coffee producers from the indigenous Guatemalan Xinca community. Pan American Silver, a Canadian company, is currently infringing on the rights of this community, in direct violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to operate a mine located on their territory (approximately 250 acres of former agricultural land) and destroying their immediate natural environment, their lifeblood, for several years.
Some firmly maintained that the establishment of the mining company would generate tax and salary advantages, whereas the population has never depended on this type of development. This created divisions in the middle of their territories.
The Xinca resistance is currently fighting against one of the biggest money-mining companies in the world, but the result is: influence peddling due to consultations in court without the presence of the Xinca parliament, the kidnapping of their leaders by the government itself, the major and illegal insufficiency of soil sampling, with regard to the extractive license of a project of this magnitude, denoted by more than 280 complaints filed with the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) and many other machinations putting the Xinca people at risk of losing all social support.
“We know that small communities near the mine have already disappeared. There has already been monitoring of the waters around the mine and parts of San Rafael and Casillas, and the waters are contaminated with arsenic and salt. Families are in great danger” (Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives (CICADA), 2020, 4:27) Randolfo Pacheco, co-spokesperson for Colis Resistencia.
In addition to the obstacles that small-scale producers in the region already suffer from the impacts of climate change and the unsustainable financial compromises due to the corruption that reigns in the institutions controlling the Guatemalan coffee market, there is now added the consequent pollution, the discrimination and crime. Resistance leaders and members who publicly and peacefully oppose the mine run an enormous risk of reprisals. Several of them have suffered suspicious attacks, and have recently been victims of violence involving kidnappings, armed assaults and killings by the authorities themselves. “Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world for environmental activists”, “the defense of the environment has become a suicidal mission in many parts of the world […]” (Linthicumstaff, 2017, para. 6 and 8) . In 2021, 157 environmental defenders were killed in Latin America according to the non-profit organization Global Witness .
Remember that this mine is owned by Pan American Silver, a Canadian company based in Vancouver. The people of the Colis Resistencia live under enormous stress seeing their territorial rights flouted and their history censored. We will continue to share their story and buy their coffee, year after year, for as long as we can, the situation is not resolved and they need buyers. As a consumer, buying their coffee is to participate from the outset in the increase in purchase volumes and, by the same token, to participate in the economic and solidarity effort with this group as a means of countering this project. mining and its devastating impacts on the life of this community.
“Hopefully we will grow together, Louis-Philippe. Together we will find a market for our product since we also want to defend our life, our water and our territory. [...] we also want to demonstrate to the world that we have an excellent product and that we want to open our doors to have better living conditions” – Randolfo Pacheco. Resilience, perseverance and patience. This is what characterizes this incredible person, whom we are committed to supporting, by offering him a platform to talk about the fight he is leading within the Colis Resistencia.
Support the producers.
We collaborate with Semilla Coffee (importer, and representative of specific groups in the coffee market) to make the constant purchase of coffee from the Colis Resistencia. To learn more about the details surrounding their fight, we invite you to consult the article Cafe Colis Resistencia – Guatemala on Semilla 's website.