Guatemala: New research paper examines allegations against Pan American Silver that led to legal action from Xinka people
Author: Eleanor Katz, Independent sustainable development expert, Published on: 30 June 2020
“No Le Importa”: Examining Human Rights Abuse Allegations Against Pan American Silver Pertaining to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent in Guatemala, 20 May 2020
This paper represents an in-depth case study analysis of Pan American Silver’s Escobal mine in San Rafael Las Flores, Guatemala as it relates to social license and the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). More specifically, this paper critically examines the allegations that led to a series of legal actions against the corporation with regard to the Xinka indigenous community and their claim that prior consultation had not occurred. Through first-person interviews and literature review, this analysis revealed that Pan American Silver did not take appropriate actions to ensure FPIC. It concludes with lessons learned on the importance of social license to ensure a sustainable, equitable future for the Xinka people and greater San Rafael Las Flores region.