Report: Advances in Escobal Mine Consultation Overshadowed by Constitutional Crisis in Guatemala

Ellen Moore introduces a new report published on the Earthworks website.


More than two years after the court ordered a consultation with the Xinka Indigenous people over the future of the Escobal silver mine, the process has yet to move beyond the first stage. Political and constitutional crises, as well as Pan American Silver’s ongoing community relations activities, pose a further risk to its continuation. 

In 2018, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court found that the government had discriminated against the Xinka people and violated their right to prior consultation. The court upheld the suspension of the Escobal silver mine, now owned by Pan American Silver, pending a consultation with the Xinka people. It also ordered the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to carry out this consultation in accordance with the ancestral traditions of the Xinka and in line with international standards.

After two years of setbacks, the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) only recently accepted the 59 Xinka representatives elected to participate in the consultation, the government’s first meaningful recognition of the legitimacy of the Xinka’s traditional decision-making structure. However, serious obstacles to the success of the process remain. According to a new report: Advances in Escobal Mine Consultation Overshadowed by Constitutional Crisis in Guatemala, political and constitutional crises, as well as the company’s continued interference locally, threaten the spirit, integrity and legality of the consultation.


You can read the rest of the introduction, here, including a link to the Report itself.

The report was prepared by Earthworks, IPS – Global Economy Program, and Maritimes – Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, and you can access it here, on the Earthworks website.



Categories: Corruption, Criminalisation, Culture, Environment, Gender, Genocide, Guatemala, Human Rights, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Legal, Mining, Natural Disaster, Poverty, Report, Solidarity in Action, Violence

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