Guatemala: Indigenous people protest Marlin mine run by Canadian co. Goldcorp; incl. co. comments
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Author: David Suzuki, The Georgia Straight
According to the Guardian, it's [a gold- and silver-mining operation in Guatemala run by a subsidiary of Canada’s Goldcorp.] drawn numerous local complaints for “intimidation, threats, social division, violence, bribery and corruption of local authorities, destruction and contamination of water sources, livestock dying, houses shaking, cracked walls, the criminalization of protest, forest cleared, and appalling health impacts such as malnutrition and skin diseases.” An indigenous man who spoke against the mine was beaten and burned alive by hooded men who first questioned him about anti-mining activities. Goldcorp has denied the allegations.
In the past, Canadian companies haven’t been held responsible for actions of foreign subsidiaries—but that may change...
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Author: David Hill, The Guardian
In 2010 Guatemala was urged to suspend operations at Marlin by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) because of concerns about the impacts, as well as the failure to properly consult the Mams and Sipacapenses, but that request was ignored and the IACHR later backtracked...
The company running Marlin is Montana Exploradora, a subsidiary of Goldcorp, based in Vancouver, Canada. I asked Goldcorp to comment on Doña A’s allegation that company workers had been responsible for setting fire to her husband and received this response from the Communications Director, Christine Marks:
The allegation is patently false. Goldcorp and its subsidiary Montana Exploradora do not condone violence of any kind, against anyone. We respect the right of all individuals to voice their opinions respectfully. Goldcorp and Montana Exploradora have adopted the internationally-recognized standards of “Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.” These standards provide the guidelines for security policies which include and demonstrate respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. All of our security personnel are trained in the ‘Voluntary Principles’, as are the local members of the Guatemalan police and army.
Asked about the other allegations – the intimidation, the threats, the social division. . . – Marks directed me to a Goldcorp webpage where “you’ll find common myths that have been exposed repeatedly as falsehoods.” This lists eleven such “myths”, which Goldcorp refutes, including ones that the company contaminates the local water supply, that it doesn’t consult local communities, that it doesn’t respect human rights, that communities around the mine are negatively impacted, and that it intimidates opposition.