Since 2010, residents of the communities of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc have been undertaking actions of peaceful resistance to state their disagreement with the gold extraction project called “El Tambor” Progreso VII Derivada. This extraction project is currently owned by Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, a company from the United States, that acts through the local subsidiaries Exploraciones Mineras de Guatemala S.A. and Servicios Mineros de Centro América. The local residents specifically demand a community consultation before construction of the mine starts. They also urge an independent environmental impact study, due to doubts about the accuracy of the current study which was carried out by the company itself and concerns about the reduction of access to water, its contamination, as well as damage to fauna and to the whole ecosystem once the mine starts functioning.
From the beginning, the Peaceful Resistance of the Puya has been confronted with threats and aggressions, such as the attempted murder against one of its members, Yolanda Oquelí in June 2012. Several of its members have been subject to defamation and legally unfounded accusations, related to their involvement with the Resistance. On the 23rd of May 2014, the Resistance Camp blocking the mine entrance of El Tambor since 2012, was violently evicted. One year later, commemorating the suffered eviction, and for not having received a response to the request of May 2014 for a dialogue round-table with the President of the Republic, the Resistance blocked vehicles from entering the mine. According to information provided by members of the Resistance, in the early morning of May 26th 2015, approximately 200 riot police arrived to unblock access with excessive force and aggression.
In September 2012 the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission declared the communities of San Pedro Ayampuc and San José del Golfo winners of the Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defenders Award.