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27 May 2020


Contentious Guatemala nickel mine ‘ignores coronavirus lockdown

See all tags Allegations

A nickel mine in Guatemala is at the center of fresh allegations of misconduct after it was alleged to have endangered local residents by operating throughout the coronavirus pandemic, despite a government order to close and its license being suspended last year.

The mine’s operator, Switzerland-based Solway Investment Group, has denied it is breaking the rules, saying it has been given special permission by ministers to continue operations.

The Fenix mine has sparked numerous social conflicts in El Estor going back to the 1960s. Dozens of locals have been arbitrarily detained and at least three killed since 2004.

Several legal cases against activists are currently in the courts, as well as complaints against the company lodged by supporters. But the Covid-19 outbreak has also impacted Guatemala’s justice system, meaning a resolution to the cases may be further delayed…