Press release: ‘Wanted’ posters featuring photos of Tahoe Resources’ executives and managers posted in Toronto, Nevada, and Vancouver

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Toronto, Canada: Over four hundred ‘wanted’ posters affixed to walls, posts, and newspaper boxes greeted Tahoe Resources shareholders on their way into the mining company’s 2016 shareholder meeting this morning. The posters highlight charges against various Tahoe employees, ranging from ordering the shooting of residents to industrial contamination, as well as human rights and environmental abuses alleged by communities surrounding Tahoe’s flagship mine in Guatemala. Identical posters were also plastered across downtown Vancouver and Reno, the locations of Tahoe Resources’ Canadian and American headquarters.

Above: Hundreds of posters covered the streets surrounding the  Toronto Four Seasons where Tahoe Resources’ AGM was held this morning.

“We wanted to make sure that the executives and shareholders entering Tahoe Resources’ annual general meeting were forced to confront their company’s crimes and the violence that communities around Tahoe’s Guatemalan mine have been subjected to in the name of their corporate profits,” says Rachel Small, a member of the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN), a Toronto based group.

On April 27th, 2013, Tahoe Resources’ private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the Escobal silver mine, in the municipality of San Rafael las Flores in southeastern Guatemala.The seven victims, allegedly shot at close range while attempting to flee, filed a lawsuit in June 2014 in Canadian courts against Tahoe for its role in the violence. The company requested that the court decline jurisdiction, arguing that paying for translators and the international shipment of evidence would be too costly and ‘inconvenient’. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Laura Gerow agreed and stayed the lawsuit in November 2015, encouraging the plaintiffs to instead file in Guatemala, despite well-documented evidence of corruption, and widespread impunity for violent offenses in Guatemalan courts. This judgment is currently being appealed.

Above: Posters plastered throughout Vancouver’s financial district

Alberto Rotondo, former military officer from Peru and security manager for Tahoe at the time of the shooting, escaped police custody by fleeing house arrest in late 2015 while awaiting trial in Guatemala for allegedly ordering security to open fire on protesters and then covering up the evidence. After approximately one month as an international fugitive from justice, Rotondo was detained in January by INTERPOL in Peru and is currently awaiting extradition back to Guatemala.

These lawsuits in Guatemala and Canada are only a small part of the bigger controversy surrounding Tahoe Resources’ Guatemalan mine. Since Tahoe Resources arrived in the region, Guatemalan community leaders opposing the mine have faced repression, criminalization and violence. Despite the conflict — or perhaps because of it — Tahoe rushed to put the mine into operation before establishing reliable mineral reserves, reaching commercial production in January 2014. Through 14 community-led consultations in six jurisdictions, over 50,000 people have voted against Tahoe’s mine and its expansion in the area.

Below: Posters mounted in Reno, Nevada, near Tahoe’s US headquarters.

The ‘wanted’ posters describe human rights and environmental abuses linked to this company including murder, criminalization of land defenders, and industrial water contamination. In addition to Kevin McArthur, Tahoe’s founder and CEO, and Alberto Rotondo, the posters feature Carlos Roberto Morales Monzón, facing trial for water contamination endangering the lives of residents near the Escobal mine; the unknown assailants who killed 16 year old youth leader Topacio Reynoso and severely injured her father; and Tahoe employees and associates for targeted criminalization and stigmatization of community leaders opposing the Escobal mine. Out of 90 baseless accusations filed against mining impacted community members between 2011-2015, only one case ever went to trial.

“While the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network dreams of a world where jails are not the main way we promote accountability and justice,” says MISN member Kate Klein, “Tahoe Resources and other Canadian mining companies are operating in a context where corporate impunity reigns. Their lawlessness is especially galling when compared with the intense criminalization and repression human rights and environmental leaders face. This cannot continue.”

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The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) is a Toronto-based volunteer group that works closely with communities impacted by Canadian extractive industries globally in order to support their self-determination, educate the Canadian public, and bring companies to justice.

Media contact: Rachel Small, Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, 647-769-2472,mininginjustice@gmail.com.

High resolution versions of the wanted posters:
Wanted – Kevin McArthur, Tahoe CEO
Wanted – Alberto Rotondo, Head of Security
Wanted – Carlos Roberto Morales Monzón, mine manager
Wanted – Attackers of Topacio and Alex Reynoso
Wanted – Tahoe, criminalization

High-resolution photos available upon request.

For more information:
www.mininginjustice.org
www.tahoeontrial.net
#tahoeontrial
A timeline of Tahoe’s Escobal mine: http://bit.ly/1I2l3XZ

Comunicado de Prensa: Toronto, Nevada y Vancouver empapeladas con afiches que indican que “se busca” a los ejecutivos y gerentes de Tahoe Resources

PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA

miércoles, 4 de mayo de 2016

Comunicado de Prensa: Toronto, Nevada y Vancouver empapeladas con afiches que indican que “se busca” a los ejecutivos y gerentes de Tahoe Resources.

Toronto, Canadá: Inversionistas de Tahoe Resources se toparon esta mañana con más de 400 afiches de “se busca” por las calles que llevan a la asamblea general de la empresa este año. Los afiches resaltan los cargos contra varios empleados de Tahoe, que van desde ordenar que se abra fuego ante pobladores hasta contaminación industrial, al igual que los abusos a los derechos humanos y el medio ambiente que alegan las comunidades cercanas a la mina más importante de Tahoe, en Guatemala. Los mismos afiches aparecieron por las calles del centro de Vancouver y Reno donde se ubican las sedes canadiense y estadounidense de Tahoe Resources.

“Queríamos corroborar que los ejecutivos e inversionistas que asistieran a la asamblea general de Tahoe Resources se vieran obligados a afrontar los crímenes de su empresa y la violencia que han vivido las comunidades cercanas a la mina de Tahoe en Guatemala en nombre de las ganancias empresariales”, indica Rachel Small, miembro de la Red contra la Minería Injusta (Mining Injustice Solidarity Network – MISN) de Toronto.

El 27 de abril del 2013, el personal de seguridad de Tahoe Resources abrió fuego ante un grupo que se manifestaba pacíficamente enfrente de la mina de plata Escobal, en el municipio de San Rafael las Flores, en el suroriente de Guatemala. Las siete víctimas, que supuestamente fueron agredidas con armas de fuego al intentar huir, presentaron en junio del 2014 una demanda contra Tahoe en los tribunales de Canadá por su rol en la violencia. La empresa solicitó se desestime la demanda amparándose en la doctrina de fórum non conveniens, alegando que los gastos de traducción y envío internacional de pruebas serían demasiado costosos y “engorrosos”. La jueza Laura Gerow, magistrada del Tribunal Supremo de Columbia Británica se mostró de acuerdo con la empresa y suspendió la demanda en noviembre del 2015, sugiriéndoles a los querellantes que presentaran la demanda en Guatemala, a pesar de la evidencia de corrupción claramente documentada, y la impunidad generalizada en los tribunales de ese país en relación a crímenes violentos. Los querellantes apelaron la decisión.


[Afiches aparecieron por las calles del centro de Vancouver]

Alberto Rotondo, ex militar de Perú y jefe de seguridad de Tahoe cuando ocurrió el tiroteo, se encontraba bajo custodia policial en arresto domiciliario, pero escapó hacia finales del 2015, mientras esperaba el juicio en Guatemala por haber supuestamente ordenado que el personal de seguridad abriera fuego ante los manifestantes y luego encubrir la evidencia. Al cabo de alrededor de un mes de estar en fuga internacional, INTERPOL lo detuvo en Perú en enero. En la actualidad se encuentra a la espera de su extradición a Guatemala.

Estas demandas en Guatemala y Canadá no son sino una muestra de la controversia más generalizada que representa la mina de Tahoe Resources en Guatemala. Desde que la empresa llegó a la región, las y los líderes comunitarias/os que se oponen a la mina han debido afrontar represión, criminalización y violencia. A pesar del conflicto – o quizás debido a él – Tahoe se apresuró a iniciar operaciones en la mina antes de establecer la existencia confiable de reservas minerales, llegando a la producción comercial en enero del 2014. Más de 50,000 personas han votado en contra de la mina de Tahoe y su expansión en el área mediante 14 consultas comunitarias en seis jurisdicciones.

[Abajo: Afiches en Reno donde se ubica las sede estadounidense de Tahoe Resources.] 

Los afiches de “se busca” describen los abusos a los derechos humanos y al medio ambiente vinculados a la empresa que incluyen asesinatos, criminalización de defensoras y defensores de la tierra, y contaminación industrial del agua. Además de Kevin McArthur, fundador y director ejecutivo de Tahoe, y Alberto Rotondo, en los afiches figuran Carlos Roberto Morales Monzón, demandado por contaminación de agua poniendo en riesgo las vidas de quienes viven en proximidad a la mina Escobal; los agresores desconocidos que asesinaron a Topacio Reynoso, lideresa de jóvenes, de 16 años, e hirieron de gravedad a su padre; y el personal y socios de Tahoe por la criminalización y estigmatización de líderes comunitarios en contra de la mina Escobal. De las 90 acusaciones infundadas que se presentaron entre el 2011 y el 2015 en contra de pobladores que sufren impactos de la minería, sólo una llegó a juicio.

“Si bien la la Red contra la Minería Injusta espera el día que las prisiones no representen el mayor método para responsabilizar y hacer justicia, Tahoe Resources y otras mineras canadienses operan en un contexto donde impera la impunidad empresarial”, indica Kate Klein, miembro de MISN. “Sus operaciones tan al margen de la ley enfurecen aún más cuando las comparamos a la impresionante criminalización y represión que viven defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos y el medio ambiente. Esto no puede seguir así”.


La Red contra la Minería Injusta (MISN) es un grupo de voluntarias y voluntarios basado en Toronto que colabora estrechamente con comunidades afectadas por la industria extractiva canadiense en todo el mundo con objeto de apoyar la autodeterminación de las comunidades, sensibilizar a la población canadiense, y responsabilizar a las empresas.

Contacto: Rachel Small, la Red contra la Minería Injusta 647-769-2472mininginjustice@gmail.com

Versión de alta resolución de los afiches de “se busca”:
SE BUSCA – Kevin McArthur
SE BUSCA – Alberto Rotondo
SE BUSCA – Atacantes de Topacio y Alex Reynoso
SE BUSCA – Tahoe, criminalización 

Fotografías de alta resolución disponibles.

Para mayor información:
www.mininginjustice.org | www.tahoeontrial.net
Cronología de la mina Escobal de Tahoe en inglés:
http://bit.ly/1I2l3XZ

#TahoeEnLaMira

Traducido por Olimpia Boido. 

Tahoe Resources’ Administrative Manager detained on charges of industrial contamination

BTS-NISGUA-MiningWatchLogo

 

 

 

April 15, 2015

(Guatemala City/Ottawa) Monday, a Guatemalan judge denied bail to the Administrative Manager and Legal Representative, Carlos Roberto Morales Monzón, of Tahoe Resources’ subsidiary, Minera San Rafael S.A., and ordered him to pre-trial detention on charges of industrial contamination. The Guatemala’s Public Prosecutors’ Office for Crimes Against the Environment launched an investigation in 2012 into the company’s contamination of water sources near its Escobal silver mine. The trial date is set for June 12.

Tuesday, Tahoe Resources issued a press release downplaying the decision and Carlos Roberto Morales Monzón’s role in the company, referring to him as an “employee”, not the “mine manager”. Nonetheless, a February 2013 Constitutional Court decision refers to Mr. Morales Monzón as the Administrative Manager and Legal Representative for Minera San Rafael. The company also said it will appeal Monday’s decision.

“This is remarkable. Tahoe Resources now has two managers from the Escobal mine in pre-trial detention, beginning two years ago with the company’s former security manager who was detained on charges of assault and obstruction of justice. It will be even more remarkable if these cases continue to proceed,” stated Ellen Moore for the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala.

The criminal case, which carries a sentence of up to eight years in prison if convicted, is the result of a complaint that the Center for Social Legal Action in Guatemala (CALAS) filed for contamination of the Escobal Creek and the El Dorado River, located near the community of Los Planes, just steps from Tahoe’s project. The alleged contamination occurred while the project was still in the exploration phase.

The Guatemalan Ministry of Health confirmed that a discharge of water from the mine installations was contaminated with suspended solids. Around this same time, local residents were reporting that contamination was affecting water used for crop irrigation. Since then, community members have been denouncing increasing scarcity of water in the area immediately surrounding the project, similarly believed to be a result of Tahoe’s mine. This latter concern is not part of the legal process.

“With several legal processes underway against the company and its affiliates, along with ongoing community resistance to the mine and its expansion plans, it should be ever more clear to investors that this company is a dangerous investment,” commented Jen Moore for MiningWatch Canada.

The extent of local concern over negative environmental and social impacts, present and future, of the mine on water supplies and community wellbeing has generated widespread community opposition to the project. As of March 2013, tens of thousands had voted against the project in local plebiscites and residents had filed more than 250 specific complaints against the granting of Tahoe’s final permitting license. The Ministry of Mines and Energy dismissed the complaints without consideration immediately before granting the company a license in April 2013. A lawsuit is pending in Guatemala’s Constitutional Court for lack of due process in this regard, which has raised questions about the legality of Tahoe’s exploitation license.

Protests that emerged in the wake of the Ministry’s hasty decision to grant Tahoe’s final permit faced police repression and an armed attack by company security guards on April 27, 2013 that left seven men injured. This latter event is the subject of a criminal case in Guatemalan courts against Alberto Rotondo, former security manager for Tahoe Resources, accused of having ordered and then attempted to cover up the attack. The seven men have also brought a civil suit against Tahoe Resources in British Columbia for negligence and battery in connection with the shooting.

In January 2015, the Norwegian Ethical Fund recommended against investing in Tahoe Resources, citing “unacceptable risk of the company contributing to serious human rights violations through its operation” at the Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala.

Contacts:

  • Ellen Moore, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), ellen(at)nisgua.org, (510) 868-0612
  • Jackie McVicar, Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, jackiebtsguatemala(at)gmail.com, (502) 4824-0637
  • Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada, jen(at)miningwatch.ca, (613) 569-3439

For more information about this situation, follow tahoeontrial.net.

Norwegian Fund Divests from Tahoe Resources, Canadian and U.S. Investors Urged to Follow Suit

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

(Ottawa/Guatemala) North American shareholders in Tahoe Resources should follow the Norway’s Council on Ethics’s lead and divest say Canadian and U.S. organizations. They urge Canadian and U.S. investors to make use of a report published last week that recommends the exclusion of Tahoe Resources from the from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) portfolio due to “unacceptable risk of the company contributing to serious human rights violations through its operation” at the Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala.

After considerable investigation, including communications with Tahoe Resources and information gathered from diverse sources such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala, the Norwegian Council determined that the project poses a high level of risk given insufficient consultation processes, considerable resistance to the mine, inadequate measures to avoid human and Indigenous rights abuses and militarization of the area.

“With this report in hand, it should be a no brainer for U.S. and Canadian investors to drop their shares in this company whose operations represent a tremendous risk to the lives and wellbeing of thousands of residents in communities in San Rafael Las Flores and area,” remarks Jen Moore Latin America Program Coordinator at MiningWatch Canada.

The Council did not believe Tahoe’s claims that the apparent calm around the Escobal mine is a sign of support for the mine. The report reads: “…the company’s statement that the situation in and around SRLF is now more peaceful than in the months preceding the state of emergency [in May 2013] is probably correct. As the Council understands it, this is due to the militarization occasioned by the conflict.” The Council attributes militarization with breaking up organized resistance and a temporary stoppage of local consultation processes.

“Even before the military state of siege was imposed on municipalities, military presence and repressive tactics were ramped up, in part due to a so-called ‘development’ office in San Rafael Las Flores with backing from Tahoe and oversight from a military colonel. It is encouraging that the Norwegian Council on Ethics recognizes that what has been growing in the area is fear, not support for this project,” comments Ellen Moore from the Network for Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA).

Before the state of siege, communities in the area held fourteen referenda, in which tens of thousands of people in the six municipalities closest to the project voted against the Escobal mine given their concerns over current and potential environmental and social impacts. A pilot project in San Rafael Las Flores overseen by the National Security Commission and referred to as the “Inter-institutional Group on Mining Affairs” was initiated in March 2013. As well, since the siege, a permanent military presence has been established in the area.

The Council also found that Tahoe failed to take adequate steps to prevent further abuses after private security guards shot at peaceful protesters outside the mine gate on April 27, 2013. Two separate lawsuits against Tahoe’s then head of security and the company in connection with this incident are ongoing in Guatemala and Canada respectively. Overall, the Council finds that Tahoe’s policies and training standards are not enough to guarantee that the company will not continue contributing to human rights violations.

The Canadian Pension Plan most recently reported that as of March 31, 2014 it holds $49 million CAD worth of shares in Tahoe Resources. As of 2013, U.S. based TIAA-CREF, considered to be a socially responsible financial services company specializing in the needs of the non-profit and education sector, held some $5 million USD worth of shares.

Online letters can be sent calling on the CPPIB to divest here and to the TIAA-CREF here. A new map illustrates the relationship between company holdings and affected communities.

Contacts:
Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada, jen(at)miningwatch.ca, (613) 569-3439
Ellen Moore, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), ellen(at)nisgua.org, (510) 763-1403

See a backgrounder on Tahoe Resources for more information.

Tahoe Resources’ former security manager to be tried in Guatemalan court

Source: Center for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS) – MiningWatch Canada – Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)

(Guatemala City/Ottawa) On Wednesday, a Guatemalan judge decided that Tahoe’s former security manager, Alberto Rotondo, should stand trial for his role in a shooting attack on peaceful protesters in April of last year.

On April 27, 2013, Tahoe Resources’ private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the Escobal mine, the company’s only project, in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores in southeastern Guatemala. Rotondo, Tahoe’s then head of security and an ex-military officer from Peru, was arrested at Guatemala’s international airport and charged with allegedly having ordered the attack. Continue reading

Guatemalans file lawsuit against Canadian mining company for 2013 shooting

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Vancouver, June 18, 2014. Seven Guatemalan men filed a civil lawsuit today in a Vancouver court against Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources Inc. for injuries they suffered last year when Tahoe’s security personnel opened fire on them at close range. The men, residents of San Rafael Las Flores, where the company’s Escobal mine is located, allege that Tahoe is legally responsible for the violence inflicted on them as they peacefully protested against the mine.

Continue reading