The Guatemalan government is planning not to honor a year-old order from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, or CIDH in Spanish) to suspend operations at the Marlin gold mine in the western department of San Marcos, according to members of the Sipacapa and San Miguel Ixtahuacán Mayan communities. The IACHR, a Washington, DC-based agency of the Organization of American States (OAS), issued the order in May 2010 in response to charges from the two communities that the mine was causing significant damage to residents’ health and the local environment. The Marlin mine is owned by Montana Exploradora de Guatemala, SA, a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company Goldcorp Inc.
In a statement dated May 30, members of the communities said the minister of energy and mines had told them that government reports found no contamination or health problems resulting from the mine’s operations. In three weeks the mining authorities will rule against the suspension, according to the minister. President Alfaro Colom is to make the final decision, but it appears that he will inform the IACHR that Guatemala is refusing to comply. (No a la Mina website, Esquel, Argentina, Adital, Brazil, May 30)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, June 5.