Take Action! Call on Tahoe Resources to refrain from promoting violence against peaceful protestors

Since June 7, 2017, communities living near Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine in southeastern Guatemala have been carrying out a peaceful demonstration in the nearby municipality of Casillas, blocking mine-related traffic to the project. Since 2011, communities in the region have carried out 18 municipal and community referenda to express their opposition to the imposition of the project and the negative impacts of the mine on their water, health, agriculture, infrastructure, and social fabric.

On June 21st, the Casillas Police Commander sent a letter to the head of the local health department warning them that “All options have been exhausted and in any moment we we will have to use public force, during which time we will use tear gas…” Today, police carried through on their threats to use tear gas, and carried out a violent eviction of the peaceful resistance encampment in Casillas.

It is imperative that the company take proactive steps to avoid further harm and human rights abuses associated with its operations in Guatemala.

Demand that Tahoe speak out against the violent eviction, and stop promoting the use of state armed forces to repress community protest against their project.

  • Call Tahoe’s Resources Reno-based office and ask them to speak out against any repression or use of force or legal persecution against community members protesting their Escobal mine. (775) 448-5800
  • Click through to send a pre-written letter to Tahoe Resources or personalize your own.

Tahoe Resources has a track record of coordinating with local and national security forces and using military counter-intelligence techniques to repress and undermine opposition to its project. In 2012, the company sued the government for not doing enough to combat growing resistance to its project. In 2013, the company helped the government install a pilot project led by the National Security Commission in the area of its project after deeming those opposed to the mine as a threat to national security. Shortly after, a month-long state of exception, or Martial law, was declared in four municipalities around the project. In November 2016, Tahoe’s subsidiary sent a letter to the Minister of Defense asking it to take action to control a protest outside the mine over houses that had been damaged due to mine blasting.

In a company press release issued in response to the protest, President and CEO Ron Clayton stated, “We are working diligently to engage government and community leaders to resolve the situation.” On the basis of past experience, when Tahoe works with government actors to resolve conflict as a result of its mine, violence and criminalization of community members has been the result. We are concerned that this situation is set to repeat itself if Tahoe Resources does not actively and vociferously reject the use of force or legal persecution, and urge the Guatemalan state not to repress public protests to their project. Tahoe should listen to and respect the legitimate demands of communities who are exercising their democratic rights to protest.