Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tahoe Resources’ former security manager to be tried in Guatemalan court

Source: Center for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS) - MiningWatch Canada - Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)

(Guatemala City/Ottawa) On Wednesday, a Guatemalan judge decided that Tahoe’s former security manager, Alberto Rotondo, should stand trial for his role in a shooting attack on peaceful protesters in April of last year.

On April 27, 2013, Tahoe Resources’ private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the Escobal mine, the company’s only project, in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores in southeastern Guatemala. Rotondo, Tahoe’s then head of security and an ex-military officer from Peru, was arrested at Guatemala’s international airport and charged with allegedly having ordered the attack.
Alberto Rotondo to stand trial

Yesterday, the judge ruled that Rotondo should stand trial on charges of causing serious and minor bodily harm to four of the seven men injured in the attack, as well as for obstruction of justice. If convicted, Rotondo could face up to 28 years in prison. The evidentiary hearing is scheduled for February 3, 2015.

“This decision sets an important precedent to the extent that it will allow the Public Prosecutor and the victims to demonstrate the premeditated and aggressive way in which Rotondo orchestrated the attack, as well as the responsibility of Guatemalan authorities in its planning and execution,” explained Rafael Maldonado, Director of the Center for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS).

Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver project is the subject of broad local opposition and ongoing legal processes in Guatemala and Canada. In June 2014, the seven victims of the attack filed a civil suit in British Columbia against the company for its role in the April 2013 violence. The first major hearing in this case is scheduled for April 2015 regarding Tahoe's argument that the case should be heard in Guatemala instead of Canada.

“What we want is justice. Even though we know that this is difficult to achieve in Guatemala, we are confident that we will have an opportunity to demonstrate that Mr. Rotondo and the company are guilty,” stated Artemio Castillo, a victim of the attack and a co-plaintiff in both cases.

Foreshadowing the obstacles ahead toward achieving justice in Guatemala, the judge granted Rotondo house arrest, rejecting two separate instances in which the Public Prosecutor accused the ex Tahoe employee with being in contempt of court.

Maldonado commented on this unexpected decision saying, “Despite the favorable decision to send Rotondo to trial, the judge demonstrated partiality in this case by rejecting multiple requests from the victims and the Public Prosecutor to keep Rotondo in detention.”

Tahoe Resources Inc. is a silver exploration and development company that lists on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, with offices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Reno, Nevada, USA. Goldcorp, a mining company with a lengthy history of human rights abuses at its Marlin Mine in northeastern Guatemala, holds 40% of Tahoe Resources shares and three seats on its board of directors.

For more information:
* Rafael Maldonado, Centre for Environmental and Social Legal Action (CALAS), rafamaldonado(at)calas.org.gt, (502) 5307-4250
* Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada, jen(at)miningwatch.ca, (613) 569-3439
* Ellen Moore, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), ellen(at)nisgua.org, (502) 3027-7134

Photo credit to: Vea Canal/Panorama News
For more background, please visit tahoeontrial.net 

NISGUA has accompanied communities in opposition to the Tahoe Resources Escobal mine since 2011. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Un vistazo al futuro? Mapas comunitarios muestran el potencial de Tahoe Resources para ampliar operaciones mineras


Click here for English. 

Los mapas que se encuentran abajo son parte de un proceso colectivo de las comunidades afectadas por la minería para ampliar el conocimiento sobre las licencias de exploración y explotación en los departamentos de Santa Rosa, Jalapa y Jutiapa. La iniciativa fue impulsado por comunidades y organizaciones locales en la región y fue apoyado por La Red en Solidaridad con el Pueblo de Guatemala, (NISGUA por sus siglas en inglés), Rompiendo el Silencio y Alerta Minera Canadá.

El esfuerzo busca llenar el vacío creado por el gobierno de Guatemala y las empresas mineras transnacionales cuando no se cumplen con su responsabilidad de informar las comunidades sobre proyectos que impactarían su agua, tierra y medios de vida.

La empresa Tahoe Resources de los EEUU y Canadá, tiene una licencia de explotación para la mina El Escobal en San Rafael las Flores, y más que una docena de licencias de exploración en Santa Rosa, Jalapa y Jutiapa. Los mapas muestran que varias de las licencias afectan de forma directa o indirecta el territorio indigena Xinka y areas protegidas. La amplia oposición a la mina El Escobal en San Rafael las Flores fue temporalmente obstaculizado en mayo 2013 cuando el gobierno declaró un estado de sitio en la región. La mina empezó poco después con la producción comercial, en enero 2014.

Hoy en día, Tahoe sigue con planes para expandir las operaciones dentro de la municipalidad de San Rafael las Flores con la licencia de exploración “Juan Bosco” y en la municipalidad vecina de Mataquescuintla con la licencia de exploración “Andres”. Tahoe busca la expansión a pesar de una oposición local firme, casos legales pendientes en contra de la empresa y sus empleados en Canadá y Guatemala y 14 consultas comunitarias que ya han rechazado minería en la región.
Mapa del suroriente
Mapa de Jutiapa
Mapa de Jalapa
Mapa de Santa Rosa



Para mapas de alta resolución, visita Resistencia de los Pueblos.


NISGUA ha acompañado a las comunidades en resistincia a las operaciones mineras de Tahoe Resources desde 2011.