A Guatemalan environmental activist was on the Comstock Wednesday, showing solidarity with the Comstock Residents Association (CRA) and others in protests against Comstock Mining Co. of nearby Virginia City.
Alvaro Sandoval Palencia of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission said in a news release that he became an activist when a trans-national mining company began work near his home in La Puya, Guatemala, without notifying or consulting with his community.
“We learned about open-pit mining, we saw the damage it can do, and that’s why we remain in resistance,” he said.
Joe McCarthy, a CRA spokesman, called La Puya “our sister community” and said it and Comstock residents face similar fates at the hands of mining companies.
“They show no regard for the people and are focused on profit at our expense, and our governments have allowed this to happen,” McCarthy said.
The CRA, along with Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) and Great Basin Resource Watch (GBRW), hosted Palencia’s appearance.
The Comstock citizens group, which says it is working to protect and preserve the Virginia City National Historic Landmark, has issued a “call to action” in a bid to rally people to attend a protest event this morning in Reno.
Participants plan to picket and perform a Cantastoria street theater event called “A Tale of Two Communities” outside the Nevada Museum of Art at 10 a.m. The museum is the site of the Comstock Mining firm’s annual shareholders meeting, according to the CRA.
The CRA said it learned from a PLAN spokesman that the street theater and picketing is to be kept off the museum property.
The CRA identifies itself as a public-interest group representing residents of Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City and Dayton to preserve integrity, sustainability and quality of life in the Comstock region.