Ebulletin received from Rights action, outlining how violence continues to escalate in San Rafael Las Flores, Guatemala, where locals have been peacefully resisting Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources’ Escobal project for two years. Tahoe’s version of events is here. A protest is being organized tomorrow (May 2) in Toronto outside Goldcorp’s AGM (see below for details.) Rights Action is calling for public pressure on the company and goverment officials.
[e-news bulletin by Rights Action:]
April 29, 2013
SHOOTINGS BY TAHOE RESOURCES (GOLDCORP Inc) ARMED GUARDS IN GUATEMALA:
Before Goldcorp Annual Shareholder Meeting, May 2nd, Toronto
(Victim of the April 27, 2013 shooting by Tahoe Resources (Goldcorp) security guards. Photo/poster by Comite en Defensa de la Vida y la Paz,
PROTEST GOLDCORP (Annual Shareholder Meeting)
- WHEN: May 2, 2013, 2pm
- WHERE: Meet at south-east corner of Bay and Adelaide (2pm, May 2)
Canadian mining company Goldcorp has left over 20 toxic sites at current and former mines in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Canada, among other places. Join us to help protest their legacy of toxic waste at their annual shareholder meeting at the Trump Hotel in Toronto. We will cordon off a hazardous zone around the meeting to highlight the serious threats that Goldcorp has posed to the communities where it has operated, ranging from health harms due to blood poisoning, to respiratory problems, food insecurity, water quality issues, violent and deadly attacks against community members, cracked houses and mental health problems. We will have masks and other safety gear on hand to protect Torontonians from the extreme levels of toxicity that Goldcorp brings wherever it goes.
ON-GOING, SYSTEMIC REPRESSION AND VIOLENCE:
APRIL 27, 2013
Six civilians were shot and wounded (2 seriously) on April 27, 2013 by Tahoe / Goldcorp security forces at Tahoe’s “San Rafael” mine site (municipality of San Rafael Las Flores, department of Santa Rosa, Guatemala). The wounded are: Adolfo García, 57; his son Luis García, 18; Wilmer Pérez, 17; Antonio Humberto Castillo, 48; Noé Aguilar Castillo, 27; Érick Fernando Castillo, 27. Local residents, who are maintaining a permanent peaceful occupation by the mine entrance in protest against it, saw company armed guards open fire on the group of men who were walking by. (Prensa Libre, April 29, 2013,
APRIL 12, 2013
On April 10, the Guatemala police detained 29 people from the mining-harmed communities who were peacefully protesting Tahoe/Goldcorp’s gold and silver mining operation. This follows upon recent shootings and breakins, kidnappings and a murder.
APRIL 4, 2013
BULLETS AND BREAKINS
On April 5, Rights Action reported on how, despite the unresolved kidnapping and murder (see below), the Guatemalan government gave the go-ahead mining license to Tahoe/Goldcorp, who quickly celebrated the good news to shareholders and investors. The government gave this license despite every singly community consultation in the region saying ‘no’ to this type of large-scale development project, despite not having the “social license” and despite the worsening levels of repression and threat at the local level. (
Almost at the same time that Tahoe/Goldcorp was celebrating their license, armed men fired bullets into the offices of CALAS (Center for Legal, Environmental and Social Action) while its director, Yuri Melini, was inside; and unknown criminals broke into the home of Rafael Maldonado, a lawyer with CALAS, tossing the place, robbing nothing, and leaving a file about the Tahoe mining interest in plain view.
Plaza Publica Reports:
CALAS SUFFERS ATTACK HOURS AFTER MINING PERMIT WAS APPROVED [FOR TAHOE RESOURCES/GOLDCORP INC] (
Yesterday afternoon (April 3), shortly after the license was given [to Tahoe Resources/Goldcorp Inc.] for the exploitation of gold and silver in the San Rafael mine in San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, three shots were fired against the Center for Legal, Environmental and Social Action (CALAS) while its director Yuri Melini was inside the office.
Shortly after this attack, at 10.30 PM, a lawyer from this same environmental organization, Rafael Maldonado, discovered the forcible entry of his home. In a press conference today Maldonado indicated that the doors were forced opened, and that all of his file-drawers and closets had been visibly rummaged through. He added that they left the file of the San Rafael Mine case on the very top of the mess.
“It was a direct message from the mining company, because we have participated in the entire legal process against the mine and are accompanying the consultations that are taking place in the communities” stated Maldonado.
Melini accused the mining company and the government for these incidents. The director of CALAS stated that the Office of the Prosecution should investigate these occurrences and the criminal organization that operates in San Rafael.
“We have given photographs to the Vice Minister of the Interior in which the mine’s private security forces, from inside the mine, are carrying out illegal actions against the civilian population, jointly with members of the National Civilian Police. We also request the investigation of this criminal group. This type of action is precisely of the competence of the CICIG (International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala)”, explained Melini.
Claudia Samayoa, in representation of the Convergence for Human Rights, connected these incidents to the kidnapping from three weeks ago, in which four XINCA leaders were kidnapped and one of them was murdered, as well as the existence of an armed organization that operates in San Rafael Las Flores.
“The Government is allowing an armed group to exist in the area. The incidents that occurred last night and yesterday seem to comprise a strategy to put an end to the work of defenders; and are a telltale sign that this is not an act of common crime. These are acts of political persecution”, she stated.
APPEALS FOR LEGAL PROTECTION AGAINST THE EXPLOITATION LICENSE WILL BE PRESENTED
This information was made public today in a press conference, in which Rafael Maldonado indicated that they will present an Appeal for Legal protection (an Amparo) before the Constitutional Court against the exploitation license for gold and silver in the Oasis mine of the San Rafael Mining Company, a subsidiary of the Canadian company, Tahoe Resources.
Yesterday the Minister of Energy and Mining, Erick Archila, also announced the approval of another exploitation license of Niquegua Montúfar, in Los Amates, Izabal. This license is granted to the Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN) that is currently authorized by a different exploitation license to extract nickel in El Estor, Izabal.
Representatives of the Communities of San Rafael indicated that the mining company has already been denounced because of environmental contamination. In response to these accusations, the San Rafael Mining company communications coordinator, Andrés Dávlia, indicated that they will make no statements at this time: “We will not make any comments until the authorities investigate what happened.”
MARCH 27, 2013
KIDNAPPINGS AND THE MURDER OF EXALTACION MARCOS UCELO
On March 27, 2013, we reported on the kidnapping of four indigenous Xinca men, and the murder of one of them – Exaltacion Marcos Ucelo, men who had been peacefully observing a democratic and public community consultation that voted ‘no’ to Tahoe/Goldcorp’s gold and silver mining interests in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores, department of Santa Rosa, Guatemala. (
RIGHTS ACTION Commentary
NO “SOCIAL LICENCE”: COMMUNITY CONSULTATIONS SAY ‘NO’
Even as Tahoe / Goldcorp push ahead, even as repression increases, community after community are holding public, transparent consultations and every single one is saying ‘no’ to the imposition of this type of “development” project. This can only result in more repression and violence.
THIS IS HOW MINING WORKS IN GUATEMALA: In 2005, Goldcorp Inc. began operating the “Marlin” gold mine in the indigenous Mam region of western Guatemala. This now infamous mine has been characterized by a wide range of health harms (to human and animal life), environmental destruction and contaminations, and other human rights violations, including killings and shootings. (See information, below, about a new film “Gold Fever”)
The CEO of Goldcorp at the time was Kevin MacArthur, who stepped down in 2008, at which time he founded a new company – Tahoe Resources, an American/Canadian company – and Goldcorp retained a 40% ownership of Tahoe. Since 2008, MacArthur, with Goldcorp’s backing, has been pushing ahead with yet another harmful and controversial mining operation that is widely opposed by the local population, and also fully supported by the Guatemala government that is headed by former army general Otto Perez Molina, an alleged intellectual and material author of the genocide and State repression in the 1980s and 90s.
The violence and repression occurring in and around Tahoe/Goldcorp’s “Escobal” mine is normal, predictable. There has been similar repression at: Goldcorp’s “Marlin” gold mine; Hudbay Mineral’s “Fenix” nickel mine; and at Radius Gold/KCA’s gold and silver mine. No justice has been done in Guatemala for any of the health harms, environmental destruction and contaminations, and other human rights violations, including killings and shootings, occurring regularly at the various mining operations.
ACTION NEEDED IN CANADA / USA
PROTEST GOLDCORP (Annual Shareholder Meeting)
WRITE TO YOUR OWN ELECTED OFFICIAL
This relentless push for mining expansion is coming from Canada and the U.S., not from Guatemala. All the fundamental decisions are being taken by North American companies, investors and governments. The vaste majority of profits flow to the companies, shareholders and investors, while all the environmental and health harms, repression and other human rights violations occur against the local populations in Guatemala.
This relentless and harmful push to expand will only be slowed down, or curtailed when Canadians and Americans successfully hold their governments, companies and investors to account.
Write your own letters, and send copies of this information, to your own elected politicians (MPs, Congresspersons, Senators) – and to other government officials, your local media, etc. – to remind them that this state of repression, threat and impunity are substantially our problems, and that it simply will not end until Canadian and American politicians and officials take concrete diplomatic, political and legal steps to put an end to the repression linked to the unwanted and often-times violent expansion of Canadian and American mining company operations in Guatemala.
… And then keep on writing your elected politicians, again and again. They work for us. They have to respond to us.
- Guatemala, July 6-14, 2013: “Mining injustice – versus - Community well-being, human rights & the environment”
- Honduras, July 13-21, 2013: “Struggle for democracy, human rights & the environment – versus – Military-backed regime, & global companies & investors”
INTERESTED: Grahame Russell, email@example.com
(Film – just released)
Gold Fever is about gold mining, harms, violations and impunity in Guatemala and the unjust global economic order. In the film, Noam Chomsky asks: Is it proper “to benefit from over half a century of repression, violence, destruction, and elimination of democracy”?
The Canadian mining giant Goldcorp Inc. continues to mine relentlessly in San Miguel Ixtahuacan, despite 8 years of documented health and environmental harms and other human rights violations. Investors across North America – from public pension funds to private equity capital – profit from their investments, with no apparent concern for how the profits are made.
ALL THAT GLITTERS ISN’T GOLD: A story of exploitation and resistance
2008 (10 minutes version of longer film)
All That Glitters Isn’t Gold tells the stories of community members residing near Goldcorp’s “San Martin” open-pit/ mountain-top removal, cyanide-leaching gold mine in Honduras’ Siria Valley. Villagers discuss the serious harms and violations they have experienced since the mine began operating – including health problems related to water contamination and depletion – contesting Goldcorp’s claims that the mine has been a model of beneficial development for the community and has caused no adverse effects.
THE REAL COSTS OF GOLD MINING: Goldcorp in Honduras
2008 (9:51 minutes, English with Spanish)
In the Siria Valley, Honduras, local citizens speak for themselves about the devastating impact of Goldcorp Inc’s “San Martin” open-pit/ mountain-top removal, cyanide-leaching gold mine on their lives and communities.
Rights Action funds work in each of regions affected and harmed by North American mining companies, supporting community development, environmental protection and human rights promotion work … as well as emergency support funds when needed. Example: We recently sent emergency relief funds to the surviving family of the murdered Exaltacion Marcos Ucelo.
TO MAKE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS (in Canada and the U.S.) in support of community organizations in Guatemala and Honduras, make check payable to “Rights Action” and mail to:
* UNITED STATES: Box 50887 , Washington DC , 20091-0887
* CANADA: ( Box 552 ) 351 Queen St. E , Toronto ON , M5A-1T8
CREDIT-CARD DONATIONS can be made (in Canada and U.S.):
* be a monthly credit card donor ( Canada and U.S. )
* to donate stock, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Write to your elected politicians, and send copies to:
CANADA PENSION PLAN
As of March 31, 2012, the CPP has $297,000,000 invested in Goldcorp, $9,000,000 in Tahoe.
Email: email@example.com; tel: 416-868-4075; Toll Free: 1-866-557-9510
Toronto Office: One Queen Street East, Suite 2500 , Toronto , Ontario M5C 2W5 , Canada
Do you know what companies your public pension fund and private funds are invested in? Ask!
Main Phone: (775) 825-8574 (Reno, Nevada, USA)
Canada: Royal Centre, 1055 West Georgia St, Suite 1500, Vancouver, BC, V6E 4N7
US: 5190 Neil Rd, Suite 460, Reno, Nevada 89502
“Kevin McArthur, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director. McArthur is the founder of Tahoe Resources as well as its President and CEO. He is an experienced mining executive with more than 30 years in the industry in operational and senior management roles. Prior to forming Tahoe, Mr. McArthur was President and CEO of Goldcorp Inc. until his retirement at the end of 2008. This followed his 18 years at Glamis Gold Ltd., where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 1998 until its acquisition by Goldcorp in November, 2006.”
666 Burrard Street, Suite 3400, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2X8
(604) 696-3000; 604-696-3076
3201 – 130 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, ON Canada M5H 3P5
“Charles A. Jeannes, President & Chief Executive Officer. Jeannes was appointed President and CEO of Goldcorp in December 2008. Mr. Jeannes previously held the role of Executive Vice President, Corporate Development from November 2006 until December 31, 2008. Mr. Jeannes was former Executive Vice President, Administration, General Counsel and Secretary of Glamis Gold from 1999 until its merger with Goldcorp in November 2006.”
Chuck Jeannes, President & CEO, Chuck.Jeannes@goldcorp.com
Kim Keras, executive assistant, Kim.Keras@goldcorp.com
Tim Miller, VP Operations in Central America, Tim.Miller@montana.com.gt
Brent Bergeron, Corp Social Responsibility, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dina Aloi, VP Corporate Social Responsibility, Dina.Aloi@goldcorp.com
Ben Lee, email@example.com, Legal Counsel
Jeff Wilhoit, Investor Relations, Jeff.Wilhoit@goldcorp.com
Christine Marks, firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Directors, Directors@Goldcorp.com
Code of Conduct, email@example.com
Human resources, firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMENTS / QUESTIONS: email@example.com
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