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.”

____________________________________________________________

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. 

Three steps you can take to halt Tahoe Resources’ expansion in Guatemala!

For the past five years, communities impacted by Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine in southeastern Guatemala have stood up to peacefully defend their lands and livelihoods. The Diocesan Committee in the Defense of Nature (CODIDENA) has led this movement – organizing and carrying out community referenda in which more than 55,000 people in seven municipalities voted against the silver mine. Despite this clear message, Tahoe and the Guatemalan government have pushed the project forward, using violent repression, criminalization and militarization in an attempt silence the resistance.

But the resistance didn’t go away. Today, thousands of brave women and men continue to seek out new, creative and resilient ways to express their opposition to Tahoe’s Escobal project and to halt the company’s plans to develop more mines in the region.

At the end of October, CODIDENA will meet with the US Embassy in Guatemala to demand accountability for US – Canadian based companies operating in Guatemala with impunity but without the consent of impacted communities.

Here are three things you can do to support communities in resistance to Tahoe Resources:

Step 1: Call and Email Your Elected Representatives

Tell the US government: Tahoe Resources contributes to human rights violations in Guatemala!

*Find contact information for your representative by visiting opencongress.org

Hello, my name is ____________________, and I am deeply concerned that North American mining companies are contributing to human rights violations in Guatemala. There is mounting evidence that Tahoe Resources, a company operating in Guatemala with headquarters in Nevada and Vancouver, collaborated with the Guatemalan military and a US private security company to suppress local opposition to their Escobal silver mine through the criminalization of protest and violent repression. Today, military outposts line the highway on either side of the mine, intimidating communities who have consistently and democratically voted against mining in their territory.

The abusive actions of US companies abroad is a US problem and requires US government response. I ask that you share this information and concern with Roberta Jacobson, head of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US State Department and Todd Robinson, US Ambassador to Guatemala.

Step 2: Join our Thunderclap

Show that you stand with CODIDENA in opposing Tahoe Resources in Guatemala by adding your voice to our Thunderclap. The day before the meeting at the US Embassy, this messages will be posted from your Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr account along with messages from hundreds of others!

Click here to join our Thunderclap.

Continue the conversation! During the month of October, directly ask the US Embassy some hard questions about Tahoe’s operations in Guatemala. Here are some samples:

• #TahoeResources boasts popular support. So why hire a US company with operations in Iraq to develop its security strategy? @usembassyguate
• How can #TahoeResources be allowed to ignore 55,000+ votes against mining by communities neighboring the #Escobal mine? @usembassyguate

Step 3: Show Your Solidarity – a picture is worth 1000 words

Mine-impacted communities want us to know that despite repression and militarization, they are still resisting Tahoe’s operations and expansion. Let them know that you stand with them by taking a picture of yourself with a sign expressing your solidarity. Use the hashtag #StillHereWithYou or #SeguimosConUstedes and #TahoeOnTrial. Tag NISGUA_Guate on Twitter!