Thousands March in Protest of Escobal Mine and in Support of Xinca People’s Right to Self-Determination

By NISGUA |April 12, 2018


A large group of Guatemalans gather in front of the Constitutional Court building, holding signs that denounce Tahoe Resources and call for the self-determination of the Xinca People to be respected.

On Monday April 9, thousands took to the streets in Guatemala City as part of the “March for Life,” organized by the Xinca Parliament and the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa and Jutiapa. Representatives from the indigenous Maya Ch’orti’, Ixil, Quiche and Garifuna Peoples showed up in support of the Xinca People and their call for the permanent closure of Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine located in Xinca territory.

The Guatemalan courts temporarily suspended the mine over eight months ago as part of ongoing legal proceedings to determine if the Xinca People’s right to consultation was violated in granting the mining license in 2013. The courts will also determine if the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines discriminated against the Xinca People by justifying the lack of consultation by denying their very existence in the region. The case is currently being decided by the Constitutional Court that most recently ordered several Guatemalan academic institutions to carry out anthropological studies to determine the existence of indigenous people in San Rafael Las Flores, the municipality where the mine is located.

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