Sipakapa is still not for sale… (NISGUA)

Neither are San Rafael Las Flores, Nueva Santa Rosa, Mataquescuintla, Jalapa nor Santa Rosa de Lima.

In 2005, the communities of Sipakapa carried out one of the first community consultations on mining in Guatemala, taking a stand against Canadian giant, Goldcorp Inc., and sparking a movement that has resulted in over 70 referenda throughout the country to date. 

Communities opposing mining in their territory warn of environmental destruction, poisoned water sources and community division. Goldcorp’s Marlin mine, which began extracting gold in 2005, has soundly delivered on all three of the concerns outlined by affected communities, while Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine, which began commercial production a month ago, seems poised to follow suite. 

In addition to expanding the Marlin mine to include extraction from underground tunnels, Goldcorp and Guatemalan subsidiary EntreMares, have initiated development of a new open pit project named Los Chocoyos in neighboring Sipakapa. The Los Chocoyos license was granted in 2006 and renewed twice before the Environmental Impact Assessment was approved in February 2013, giving the go ahead for exploitation at the mining site. While Goldcorp lauds the municipal government of Sipakapa for its support of mining, the company fails to recognize that public opinion is divided and widespread opposition exists. 

In May 2013, the Maya Sipakapense Council and over one thousand supporters gathered in front of the municipality to express their opposition to the municipal government’s proposal to repeat the 2005 community consultation, which voted against mineral exploitation in their territory. In June, thousands marched to celebrate the eighth anniversary of their consultation. In September, hundreds of protesters temporarily blocked the Inter-American Highway to demand an end to Goldcorp’s Marlin operations. A month later, community members gathered again to call on the mayor to respond to concerns previously presented by communities and to put an end to the municipal government’s stigmatization of community leaders opposing mining. …. View the full article, with photos, here.

This entry was posted in Community Resistance, Conflict and Repression, Goldcorp and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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