False accusations made by Tahoe Resources (Canadian/U.S. company) against Guatemalan villagers
Topacio Reynoso, member of peaceful resistance to Tahoe Resources harms and violations, assassinated in an April 13, 2014 attack that left her dad, Alex, seriously wounded.
Sign on to public letter:
Please support mining resistance members from Mataquescuintla, Jalapa in denouncing dangerous false accusations made by Tahoe Resources. If your organization would like to be included, email me organization's full name by Sunday, Sept 16: Becky Kaump, email@example.com, www.nisgua.org
Communities in resistance denounce Tahoe Resources for false accusations and criminalization
September XX, 2018
(Guatemala, Oakland, Washington DC, Ottawa) In the midst of a political crisis of confidence following President Jimmy Morales’ announcement that he will not renew the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) mandate, environmental defenders from Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, were subject to acts of defamation.
Such defamatory threats occurred days before a Constitutional Court decision confirming the suspension of Tahoe’s silver mine for violating the Xinca people’s right to consultation.
In a press conference held on Thursday, August 30, 2018, representatives of the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa denounced false accusations by Tahoe Resource and its subsidiary company Minera San Rafael (MINERASA). An official statement by Tahoe and MINERASA stated that on Friday, August 24, twelve of their private security guards were "attacked and kidnapped by armed actors who identified themselves as the "Peaceful Resistance Group of Mataquescuintla".
The Peaceful Resistance of Mataquescuintla, members of the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa and Jalapa and Jutiapa, released a statement in which they expressed their total rejection of such accusations, denouncing them as being part of a long standing company strategy to criminalize and stigmatize the resistance through defamatory media campaigns and spurious accusations. Likewise, they recalled violence and false accusations in recent years that sought to undermine the opposition to their mining project, including the physical attack against protesters in April 2013. Tahoe’s mine’s former head or security – Alberto Rotundo – is facing criminal charges related to this incident is currently a fugitive of the law. They also referred to indications of Guatemalan government involvement in the planning of an explosives robbery, which was used to justify a state of siege in 2013, at which time several resistance leaders were targeted and arrested, some of whom without arrest warrants.
As Guatemalan and international human rights organizations, we have accompanied the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa and the environmental defenders of Mataquescuintla for many years in their struggle to defend life and natural resources. As organizations monitoring the human rights situation, we express our deep concern about misinformation, stigmatization and serious aggressions against the communities of Mataquescuintla, members of the regional peaceful resistance movement.
In the face of misinformation, stigmatization and aggressions, as national and international organizations:
1. We call on the authorities to take the necessary measures to clarify before the public the events that took place on Friday, August 24 in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa.
2. We urge the Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the serious attacks against human rights defenders in order to identify and prosecute those responsible.
3. We urge the Human Rights Ombudsman to take all necessary measures to guarantee the rights of the communities, especially the right to peaceful protest without fear of reprisals, as well as the right to life and physical integrity.
4. We call on the national and international community to pay close attention to the pay close attention to the high-risk conditions in which the Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa finds themselves, as they peacefully protest the presence of mining projects in their territory. We also call for human rights verification missions to the region to document human rights abuses against defenders.
“Let us be clear: Our opposition to mining in our territory and the future of Tahoe’s mine specifically does not depend on the outcome of the legal case currently before the Constitutional Court. Our encampment in Casillas and peaceful resistance in the region will continue until the mine is permanently closed. We have already held our own processes of consultation in which the vast majority of people in the affected area have said no to mining. We will not change our minds. The time for dialogue was before Tahoe forced the mine on us in 2011. Now, all we want is closure.”
(Communities in resistance letter to Mr. Kevin McArthur, Executive Chair & Mr. James Voorhees, President & Chief Executive Officer, Director Tahoe Resources Inc.)
Write and call, and keep on writing and calling:
Kevin McArthur, Executive Chair
James Voorhees, President & Chief Executive Officer, Director
Tahoe Resources Inc.
Kevin McArthur, firstname.lastname@example.org
James Voorhees, Jvoorhees@tahoeresources.com
John Serna, email@example.com
Directly contact your Member of Parliament: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members
Minister Chrystia Freeland, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 613-992-5234, 1-343-203-1851, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Embassy In Guatemala, Ambassador Deborah Chatsis, +502 2363-4348, email@example.com
Support needed for human rights, community and environmental defenders in Guatemala and Honduras
- Matching donor: for donations (up to total of $20,000) made by September 24, 2018.
- U.S.: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
- Canada: (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8