Guatemala News Update: March 30 – April 10

Hudbay Minerals/CGN Former Head of Security on Trial in Guatemala for Mining-related Violence

The criminal trial against the former security chief of mining company Hudbay Minerals/CGN, Mynor Padilla, began on April 8 in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. Padilla is charged with the murder of Aldofo Ich Chamán and the wounding of at least ten others who opposed Hudbay/CGN’s nickel mining project in El Estor.

Unfortunately, this is only one example of the violent encounters provoked by extractive projects in Guatemala. Hubday Minerals is already facing lawsuits in Canadian courts for other crimes related to their activities in Guatemala.

Human Rights Defender Assassinated Near Tahoe Resources Mine

On Sunday, April 5, Telesforo Pivaral — a community member from San Rafael Las Flores — was murdered. Pivaral had been a member of the Committee in Defense of Life and Peace of San Rafael Las Flores, and was active in the resistance to the “El Escobal” mining project.

Oxfam’s office in Guatemala and 23 other organizations are joining together to call for the Guatemalan government to investigate the attack.

Oxfam Report Reveals Human Rights Abuses Caused by IFC Investments

A report released by Oxfam International and partner groups highlights and criticizes the $36 billion investment portfolio of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector lending arm. According to the report, there is little transparency regarding IFC investments, which are causing grave human rights abuses in communities around the world, especially related to large-scale projects like dams, power plants and sugar plantations.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina to be Present at Summit of the Americas

Otto Perez Molina confirmed his participation in the 7th Summit of the Americas in Panama. Barack Obama will meet with chancellors of the Central American Integration System (SICA) to discuss migration, where Molina will be present; Guatemala is set to host the last SICA meeting on June 26.

Guatemala’s Women Relive Violence

This CNN article looks at the pattern of gender-based violence in Guatemala, as well as the connection between current abuses and the legacy of violence left by the internal armed conflict.

John Hopkins Sued Over STD Study in Guatemala

Guatemalan research subjects and their relatives have sued Johns Hopkins University for its role in the 1940s-950s medical experiments in which hundreds of people in Guatemala were deliberately infected with sexually transmitted diseases.

 

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