Next Monday evening will be spent in the Amnesty International UK offices at the upcoming event ‘Stories of Resistance’, being held by the London Mining Network. As described on the flyer, it will be an opportunity to hear community representatives, from around the globe, describe their experiences of dealing with the negative social and environmental impact of large-scale mining projects.
This is particularly poignant following announcement last week by the Guatemalan Minister of Energy and Mines that the licence for the Escobal mine was approved. The Escobal mine is jointly owed by Canadian companies Tahoe Resources and Goldcorp. It is located in the San Rafael Las Flores Municipality. Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA (GHRCUSA) reported that 99% of people voted against the project in a recent community referendum. The right to free, prior and informed consent is not the only right being violated.
Four indigenous Xinca leaders, including the President of the Xinca Indigenous Parliament, were kidnapped less than a month ago, on March 17th. Exaltación Marcos Ucelo, one of the other three leaders was found murdered the next day. Noone has been arrested for these crimes.
Local opposition to international investment opportunities is resulting in, what is becoming, systematic violence against peaceful resistance. The UN-funded International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) was set up to tackle this culture of impunity in Guatemala, strengthen the rule of law in this transitional democracy and investigate the crimes of private security forces. CICIG has made progress and crime rates have fallen. However, communities resisting international mining companies and their almost inevitably destructive impact are clearly still vulnerable. Guatemala is just one example of many.
Come and find out more about the impact of mining projects from around the world this Monday 15th April. See flyer below for details.