After resuming dialogue in February 2020 between the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala and the Ministry of Energy and Mines, an agreement has been reached to restart activities toward a consultation with the Xinka Indigenous People in accordance with the Constitutional Court decision of September 3, 2018, file number 4785-2017.
As part of these activities, a meeting was held on October 14 at the Xinka Parliament’s office, at which 54 of 59 Xinka delegates [elected to participate in the consultation process] attended along with the Minister of Energy and Mines, Alberto Pimentel Mata, and the Vice Minister of Sustainable Development, Oscar Rafael Pérez Ramírez.
According to the principles of good faith, mutual respect and transparency, the leadership of the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala agreed to a second preparatory meeting to review the progress and fulfillment of the commitments made, in order to define the exact date in November to start the pre-consultation process concerning the Escobal mining project in the department of Santa Rosa.
The agreements reached to enable the pre-consultation process are as follows:
- The process will be carried out within the framework of the Xinka people’s worldview, institutions and decision-making systems.
- The pre-consultation and consultation processes will be carried out without pressure or conditions imposed by any of the parties.
- The meetings will take place at the Xinka Parliament’s office in Cuilapa, department of Santa Rosa.
- The Ministry of Energy and Mines has accepted and accredited the 59 representatives appointed by the Xinka people as their interlocutors and representatives in the pre-consultation and consultation process.
- The Ministry of Energy and Mines will facilitate the payment of external consultants required and appointed by the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala during the pre-consultation and consultation.
- The Ministry of Energy and Mines will inform the representatives of Pan American Silver Guatemala, owner of the Escobal mine, that the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala considers the company’s activities in the region to be acts of bad faith that violate the “free” nature of the consultation.
- The first activity within the pre-consultation process will be the Assessment of the Cultural and Spiritual Impacts of the Escobal mining project on the Xinka people.
This communiqué is jointly issued in Guatemala on October 15, 2020 in accordance with the principle of transparency and consistent with a dialogue process in good faith.