Guatemala: Indigenous community addresses Pan American Silver in their AGM regarding violations surrounding the Escobal mine

Author: Earthworks, Published on: 8 May 2020

For nearly a decade, Xinka people affected by the Escobal silver mine have been struggling to protect their land, water and way of life from mining. Their sustained opposition, and a court order suspending the mine, drove the original owner of the project, Tahoe Resources, out of business. For communities, this victory, coupled with the project’s legacy of violent repression, was evidence that the Escobal mine should be shuttered once and for all. 

Then, just over a year ago, Vancouver-based Pan American Silver picked up Tahoe Resources and its flagship Escobal mine at a fire sale price, pledging to do things differently than its predecessor. At the center of this pledge was a promise to listen to community concerns. PAS was put to the test at its shareholder meeting on Wednesday...

The meeting moderator failed to ask company executives to respond to any of the questions posed to them regarding lack of respect for communities’ right to self-determination including: 

  • Why would Pan American Silver, which has branded itself as a socially responsible company, buy a mine that clearly violated Xinka Indigenous rights in Guatemala from the start, and continues to violate their rights today? 
  • Why would Pan American Silver want to impose a mine in Guatemalan communities where tens of thousands have voted against the activity and where communities have spent almost three years maintaining 24-hour blockade of mine related traffic?
  • Why would a so-called responsible company invest for ten years in the Navidad project in an Argentine province where open-pit mining is prohibited by law?...

[Pan American Silver has previously responded to these allegations.  The allegations and responses can be found here and here]

Read the full post here

Related companies: Pan American Silver