Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Guatemala: photo essay on water tribunal's condemnation of Goldcorp

Please check out this photo essay, from our old friend James Rodgriguez, on a Guatemalan water tribunal's condemnation of Goldcorp. Here are some of his accompanying words:
The Latin American Water Tribunal (TLA, by its acronym in Spanish) carried out its 5th public hearing under the motto: ‘Hydraulic justice for indigenous lands and territories’. The trial took place in the city of Antigua Guatemala from September 8th to the 12th. Ten cases where water issues affected indigenous populations in the region were analyzed: one in Brazil, three in Mexico, one in El Salvador, three in Guatemala, and two in Panama.” (1)

“The Jury from the TLA pronounced verdicts on all ten hearings and served as mediator in four of them. This independent organ is made up by people who are leaders in their fields and have upheld a high ethical standard in their careers.” (2)
An ethic tribunal is a non-state entity with a legal character designed to resolve conflicts between different civil actors or institutions. Ethic tribunals are an emerging space for conflict analysis and resolution. Given their ethical nature, they restructure the idea of Law and serve as ideal platforms for seeking alternative solutions to environmental issues, among others. (3)
Here are their recommendations:
“1. To hold the Government of Guatemala responsible for not improving the situation in high-risk mining operations.” (6)

“2. To censure the Government of Guatemala for not making sure the following laws and international agreements are upheld: ILO Convention 169, the tenth principle from the Rio Convention, Articles 44 and 46 from the Republic of Guatemala’s Political Constitution of March 31, 1985, as well as the 1996 Peace Accords – specifically the Accord referring to Indigenous Peoples’ Identity and Rights.” (7)

“3. To censure the Government of Guatemala for not respecting Indigenous Peoples’ traditional justice systems.” (8)

“4. To hold Montana Exploradora de Guatemala Mining Company responsible for damages caused on the local environment and population of San Miguel Ixtahuacan and Sipacapa.” (9)

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