September 4, 2018
Late Monday night, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court ruled that [US-Canadian owned] Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine will remain suspended while the Ministry of Energy and Mines consults with the Xinka indigenous population in four municipalities, including San Rafael Las Flores, where the mine is located. This decision reaffirms a lower court decision from July 2017 to halt work at Escobal and the neighboring Juan Bosco exploration license over discrimination and failure to consult with Xinka people. The decision cannot be appealed.
Before the silver mine went into production in January 2014, local authorities convened votes in four municipalities surrounding the Escobal project in which Xinka and non-indigenous residents overwhelmingly rejected mining activities. Monday’s Constitutional Court ruling orders a repeat consultation in three of these, including Casillas, Mataquescuintla and Nueva Santa Rosa. A total of eight municipal referenda rejecting the mine have taken place since 2011. Mayors in five municipalities have refused any royalties from the company out of respect for the results of the votes.
For the full press release, click here.