On May 8, 2013, the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) and MiningWatch Canada warned Tahoe Resources investors against further investment in the Escobal silver project, given lack of community support and increasing violence and repression in the area.
The full Investor Alert can be read here.
Risks identified include:
- Tahoe Resources does not have the social license to operate the Escobal project;
- It is likely that conflict and violence will persist if the mining project continues to be imposed without community consent, given recent violence attributed to public armed forces, an illegal armed group and the company’s private security;
- Implication of company private security in recent acts of violence could lead to civil lawsuits as has taken place in relation to other mining conflicts in which Canadian companies are involved;
- Tahoe Resources is already under investigation in Guatemala for industrial contamination of water supplies near the Escobal mine site;
- Failure of Guatemalan regulators to address residents’ complaints prior to granting company’s exploitation license is under appeal, which could put Tahoe’s exploitation license in jeopardy;
- By repeating patterns seen in Guatemala’s mining sector in connection with Goldcorp’s Marlin mine, including lack of respect for prior community consultation, targeting of peaceful protesters through the judicial system and putting the project into production in the midst of violence and repression, the company is likely to be the object of further protests.