More news on Goldcorp in Guatemala from Rights Action:
Guatemala, June 12, 2009
AFTER GOLDCORP ILLEGALLY TRIED TO TAKE CONTROL OF MORE LANDS, MAYA MAM PEOPLE OF SAN MIGUEL IXTAHUACAN ARE THREATENED WITH MORE ‘CRIMINALIZATION’ AND REPRESSION
The local Maya Mam population of Sacmuj, in the village of Agel, municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacan (SMI), are in danger of illegal entry by the Canadian mining company Goldcorp Inc, of criminalization of some community members, and of repression.
[This most recent illegal land occupation, by Goldcorp, and threat of violence, are part of a long list of health and environmental harms and violations of human and indigenous rights against the Maya Mam communities since 2005. More information: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Over the past few weeks, Goldcorp has been pressuring hard to buy 200 cords (cuerdas) of land belonging to 20 families in Sacmuj, part of the Agel village. (1 cuerda = 20 square meters, just less than 1 acre).
Confronted with community members who did not want to sell their property, Goldcorp again chose force, illegally bringing vehicles and exploration equipment onto community and private property of Sacmuj community members.
The illegal entry and exploration activities are extremely worrying to the Sacmuj people, not only because the company is illegally on their lands (a crime that Goldcorp has committed consistently, with impunity, since it arrived in San Marcos) but also because community members fear their natural water spring will be contaminated or dry up.
The Sacmuj people have asked, on numerous occasions, that Goldcorp take its vehicles and equipment away; the community has also presented a complaint to the Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala.
Wednesday, June 10: Goldcorp company workers told the Sacmuj people they would take their vehicles and equipment away on June 11. Thursday, June 11: With vehicles and equipment still there, the company signed an agreement to pull away on June 12. Friday, June 12: As the company did not comply, unknown individuals burned some exploration equipment, a “Haylux” vehicle, and blocked some electric wires.
SOLDIERS AND POLICE
Given the community resistance, Goldcorp asked for police and army presence. On June 10, 2 units of the national police, 1 unit of Goldcorp’s private security, and 4 vehicles of soldiers arrived, allegedly to protect the security of company workers.
On June 11, 6 units of the national police and 2 units of special, anti-riot troops arrived, allegedly to protect the security of Goldcorp management.
Once again, SMI community leaders are getting threats. On June 12, Javier de Leon (a leader of ADISMI, Association of Integral Development of San Miguel Ixtahuacan), received two threatening text messages by cel phone. From number +502 5724-6953, at 11:02am, the message read: “Javier you are a piece of shit it is true that you are taking advantage of the people so wait and we will denounce you.” (“Javier eres tan pura lata berdaque te estas probechando d lajente esperate tebamosa denunsiar.”)
From number +502 4598-5000, at 10:33am, the message read: “Look you goddamn you don’t know that you are a beggar you think you are so great you don’t even come here to the protest but wait we are going to fuck you up you goddamn bastard.” (“Mira pinche no savez eres un limosnero te crees tanto porque no te pones la cara aqui en la manifestacion tu talbes pero esperate te vamos a partir la madre viejo tarugo maldito perro.”)
CRIMINALIZATION OF STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE
Similar to manipulated criminal charges brought against 7 Maya Mam men in 2007, against 8 Maya Mam women in 2008, it is rumoured that new charges have been laid against Sacmuj community members.
WE ARE WORRIED
That the Canadian Goldcorp company illegally occupies people’s land, as a common practice, with complete impunity.
That the Guatemalan government has never responded to multiple complaints made about Goldcorp’s illegally occupations of land, showing again the high level of discrimination in the application of justice.
That the Guatemalan government uses security forces (army, police) in favor of the company without the previous and objective investigation necessary to guarantee the rights of the population.
Of the government of Canada, intervene and verify the violations of the communities and families affected and consider suspending Goldcorp’s mining licence.
Of the Canada Pension Plan – and all pensions and investment funds profiting from investments in Goldcorp -, verify the violations of the communities and families affected and consider withdrawing investments from Goldcorp.
Of the United Nations High Commission of Human Rights and Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, that they verify the violations of the harmed communities and families.
Of the President of Guatemala, the Ministries of Mines and Energies and the Environment, and the Procurator of Indigenous Affairs, that they verify the violations of the communities and families affected by Goldcorp’s mine, and that they suspend Goldcorp’s mining licence for harms and violations the mine has caused, including the health and environmental harms, and the social divisions in the communities due in part of the cooptation of some community members.
San Miguel Ixtahuacán, San Marcos, Guatemala, 12 de junio 2009
COMUNIDADES AFECTADAS POR LA MINA MARLIN
PARROQUIA SAN MIGUEL
PASTORAL JUVENIL DE SAN MIGUEL IXTAHUACAN
DERECHOS EN ACCION
* * *
WHAT TO DO
EDUCATIONAL DELEGATION TO GUATEMALA - JULY 6-14
Please join this trip that will investigate “Dam ‘Development’ Projects under-mining human rights & the environment”. Over 9 days, delegates will meet with development, enviro and human rights activists; visit Chixoy hydro-electric dam affected Mayan-Achi communities; visit Mayan Q’eqchi communities that may well be harmed by the pending Xalala hydro-electric dam; visit Mayan-Mam communities being harmed by Goldcorp Inc’s huge gold mine. Information: Karen Spring: email@example.com