Elizandro was the principal of the Maya Ch’orti’ Council, in La Prensa an indigenous community in the municipality of Olopa, Chiquimula.
The struggle for territory and the conservation of the natural resources of his community led Elizandro Pérez to organize other community leaders to give a legal battle against Incamin, a company that extracts antimony in Olopa with a permit from the Energy and Mining Ministry of Guatemala. A permit, they claim, was granted without a free and informed consultation with the Ch’orti’ people.
The farmer communities in the area point their fingers to this company as responsible for irregularities that have led to contamination of the water and forests in the region and consequently, to serious health problems in entire communities.
Community leaders from Nuevo Día, an Association that congregates all Ch’orti’ farmers communities have denounced that since 2016 Elizandro Pérez had been criminalized, threatened and intimidated along with other indigenous authorities from the Olopa communities, who advocate for the defense of their territory from mining exploitation. But these threats had intensified a few days before his killing with the entry of machinery to a quarry located just 400 meters from where Elizandro Pérez lived.
Community leaders have informed the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the constant death threats, intimidation and persecution they have been object of for denouncing and protesting against mining.