(Ottawa/Toronto) A sixteen year old Guatemalan girl, Topacio Reynoso, was murdered on April 13, 2014 near her home town of Mataquescuintla, Guatemala where she was head of a youth movement against mining. Her father, a leader in organizing a municipal vote on the mine, was shot in the same incident and is in hospital in critical condition. This is the latest example of violence and repression associated with the Canadian-listed mining company Tahoe Resources‘ Escobal project.
Today, MiningWatch is sending a letter to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board calling on the fund to divest from Tahoe Resources. MiningWatch argues that the investment is a dangerous and unacceptable gamble.
The letter says that Tahoe has failed to disclose that tens of thousands of people in five municipalities closest to Tahoe’s Escobal silver project have voted overwhelmingly against mining in their communities. For example, in the municipality of Mataquescuintla, home of Topacio Reynoso, over half of the eligible voters participated in a vote in which 96% – or some 10,000 people – voted against mining.
“Opposition to the Tahoe mine in the surrounding municipalities is so great that Tahoe actually sued the Guatemalan government, demanding that the government do more to protect the mine,” remarks Shin Imai, lawyer for the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project at Osgoode Hall Law School. “Although the Court dismissed the suit, two months later, the government declared a state of siege in municipalities where people had voted against mining and issued arrest warrants for more than a dozen people known to oppose the mine.” …. To read the full article and see MiningWatch’s letter, click here.