Work at the Escobal silver-gold mine has been suspended by Guatemalan courts. (Image: Tahoe Resources)
GUATEMALA – Guatemala’s highest court has ordered that Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver-gold mine remain suspended. The decision reaffirms a lower court decision from July 2017 to halt work at Escobal and the Juan Bosco exploration licence because of what locals insist is discrimination and failure to consult with the indigenous population.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines is undertaking consultations with four indigenous Xinka communities.
The mine has been in production since January 2014. Prior to start-up local authorities in the four communities voted against mining activities, just as other towns have since 2011. Mayors in five towns have refused royalties from Tahoe out of respect for the voters’ preference.
Local communities charge that they have faced surveillance, increased criminal activity, militarization, and repression from both their own government and the mine owner. A permanent camp has existed near the mine since 2017. The situation worsened recently when Tahoe accused community members of kidnapping its private security officers. Tensions remain high.
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