On January 8, 2019, shareholders for Pan American Silver (TSX: PAAS; NASDAQ: PAAS) voted to acquire Tahoe Resources (TSX: THO; NYSE: TAHO) and with it, the company’s portfolio of assets in Peru, Guatemala, and Canada. Since 2013, when the violence and militarization at the Escobal project escalated, Tahoe Resources has faced a series of security commission complaints, high-profile divestments, and shareholder lawsuits as shareholder confidence in the company was shaken. Pan American Silver’s acquisition of Escobal does not resolve the underlying issues fueling the peaceful opposition.
Before acquiring Tahoe Resources, Pan American Silver faced local opposition and conflict over environmental harms elsewhere that it operates. Notably, ten years before buying Escobal, Pan American purchased the unwanted Navidad silver project in Chubut, Argentina where the local resistance succeeded in prohibiting mining since 2003. Local environmental coalitions denounce that the company has tried to pressure local, provincial and national authorities to enable mining to go ahead. For more information, see Environmental Justice Atlas’ profile on the company, documenting abuse at 8 mine sites across Latin America.