Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Tahoe on Trial: Guatemalan Communities Rise Up to Defend Land and Life

Monday, October 26, 2015

12 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room

When Tahoe Resources bought the rights to the Escobal project from Goldcorp Inc. in 2009, it acquired more than a silver mine. The Canadian and U.S.-owned company also acquired Goldcorp’s legacy of imposition and violation of rights with collaboration from state and private security.

Tahoe’s Escobal mine has depended on a legion of private security forces, civil police, and the Guatemalan military to ensure its construction, continued operation, and future expansion. At the outset, a key goal of the company’s militarized security plan was to suppress opposition.

"It's very important for the people in the U.S. to know the reality that people are living in Guatemala. How can a company this size be operating in the middle of such a populated area? The company arrived in a very discreet way, without telling us any information or that their intention was to exploit the minerals we have here… We are fearful that Tahoe Resources is contaminating our water, and that our crops will no longer grow in the same ways that they have before. We live from the land. Mother Earth gives us food to eat, and we want to leave our children a fertile earth upon which they can grow their own food." -Llan Carlos Dávila (acting representative of Santa Rosa de Lima, Diocesan Committee in Defense of Nature)

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies