The civil lawsuit filed June 18th, 2014 in Vancouver against Tahoe Resources for negligence and battery in connection with an April 2013 shooting outside its mine site in southeastern Guatemala seeks justice for seven victims. This case is part of the struggle in defense of land and the environment in Guatemala, as well as part of the fight for corporate accountability given frequent human right abuses in connection with the operations of Canadian mining companies abroad.
For more on the lawsuit, visit the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ).
In November 2015, in a disappointing decision, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Laura Gerow ruled that the case against Tahoe Resources should be heard in Guatemala, saying it would be ‘inconvenient’ to hear the case in Canada. However, the Guatemalan plaintiffs appealed the decision and in early 2017 the B.C. Court of Appeal decided that the case should be heard in Canada. Most recently, Tahoe applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The court’s decision not to hear the case means the lawsuit will proceed in British Columbia.
On July 30th, 2019, lawyers representing four Guatemalan members of the peaceful resistance to the Escobal mine announced the conclusion of the precedent-setting lawsuit against Tahoe Resources, recently acquired by Pan American Silver. The resolution includes a public apology by Pan American Silver in which the company takes responsibility for the shooting and the violation of the peaceful protestors’ human rights.
To learn more about human rights abuses related to the operations of Canadian mining companies abroad, the overview, accusations, and preliminary verdict from the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Canadian mining abuses in Latin America provide a good introduction. Five Canadian mining companies, including Tahoe Resources, were among the accused at this ethical tribunal, along with the Canadian government given its extensive promotion and protection of the Canadian mining industry abroad.
- Notice of Claim
- Wiretap transcript of calls made after the attack by Alberto Rotondo, Tahoe’s then head of security
- Security footage from outside the mine on April 27, 2013
- July 30th, 2019 press release from firm representing the plaintiffs in English and Spanish.