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Case alert: Human rights violations at Goldcorp's gold mine in Guatemala

Dec 09, 2009
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A coalition of community groups from San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala filed an OECD complaint with the Canadian NCP, requesting an investigation into human rights violations committed by Goldcorp Inc. at the company's Marlin gold mine.

The conflict between Vancouver-based Goldcorp and the community has continued unabated since the company began to acquire land in 1999 through the company Peridot S.A.. After Glamis Gold Ltd. acquired Montana in 2002, exploration intensified and in November of 2003, the Government of Guatemala granted Montana a 25-year exploitation license for an area of 20 square kilometers. Goldcorp has operated the controversial Marlin gold mine in Guatemala since 2006, when it acquired Glamis Gold. Glamis received a loan from the International Finance Corporation to develop the mine. FREDEMI decries the company's failure to ensure that the community had given its free, prior, and informed consent to the mine, a right protected under national and international law.

The FREDEMI coalition includes the Catholic parish, community-based development organizations, and a teachers' association. FREDEMI decries the company's failure to respect the human rights of the people of SMI. Specifically, Goldcorp’s land acquisition is thought to violate the communal property rights and the right to free, prior, and informed consent of the people of SMI. Structural damage to houses caused by Goldcorp’s use of explosives and heavy equipment is thought to violate the right to property of those home owners. Water contamination resulting from Goldcorp’s mining activities is thought to violate the right to health of the people of SMI. Goldcorp’s overconsumption of Water for its operations is thought to violate the communities’ right to water and Goldcorp’s retaliation against anti-mine protesters is thought to violate their right to life and security of person.

Read more about the case in the OECD Watch case database.

Website: http://www.ciel.org/Hre/Guatemla_Canada_9Dec09.html
Attachment Complaint against GoldCorp.pdf (Size 600Kb)

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