Lawsuit filed against Tahoe Resources
A lawsuit is being filed against Tahoe Resources in relation to the violence that occurred during a 2013 peaceful protest at the Escobal silver mine in San Rafael Las Flores. The mine’s security guards are being accused by seven Guatemalans of attacking them and critically injuring Luis Fernando García Monroy after shooting him three times, once in the face. The lawsuit also accuses Tahoe’s Chief of Security in Guatemala, Alberto Rotondo, of various crimes, including ordering the attack on the peaceful protestors, fabricating a story that the demonstrators attacked mine employees, and arranging the tampering of evidence. Continue reading →
Chixoy reparations to be handled by Executive branch
A six hour-long meeting between communities affected by the Chixoy Dam and government officials determined that the Executive Branch will be the only entity to handle the communities’ promised reparations. This decision was a victory for community members, as earlier in the week government officials had suggested the reparations be fulfilled via the Legislative Branch. Communities viewed this as a tactic to withhold the economic portion of the reparations plan. Although a formal plan has not yet been agreed upon, communities say that they are making progress and will move forward with the negotiation process.
The World Bank decided to postpone its vote on a requested $340 million loan to Guatemala; the discussion will likely take place within the next few weeks. The Guatemala Human Rights Commission was among the 34 NGOs that wrote to the World Bank requesting the delay. Continue reading →
Community leaders will be released after unjust imprisonment
Five community members from Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, who were illegally imprisoned for seven months, have succeeded in proving their innocence. On Thursday, a judge in Jalapa dismissed the charges against them due to lack of certainty and weakness of proof brought forth by the Public Prosecutor’s office. Communitaria Press calls this development “a victory for peaceful resistance,” as those imprisoned were criminalized for their resistance to the Escobal mine. Canadian-based Tahoe resources and it’s Guatemalan subsidiary San Rafael Mining have carried out recurring acts of violence against peaceful protesters, and the government has used its own institutions to support the company.
Meanwhile, Tahoe Resources recently announced that the company is ready to ramp up production at the Escobal silver mine. Though the company reported a net loss last quarter (the first quarter of production), its stocks rose following this announcement.
Public prosecutors want trial for military extrajudicial killings
The Public Prosecutor’s Office wants the Constitutional Court to revoke a prior decision to modify charges against eight military members, led by Col. Juan Chiroy Sal, involved in the killings of six people during the October 4, 2012 confrontation in Totonicapán. The eight men were originally charged with extrajudicial killing and attempted extrajudicial killing, but High Risk Court A Judge Patricia Flores reduced the charges. The lawyer for Chiroy Sal criticized both the prosecution for maintaining their original claim, as well as the protesters for committing actions of violence during the confrontation.
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