Goldcorp Inc. linked to capture of Gregoria Cristina erez, a impoverished, Mayan woman who was then liberated by the local popul


Grahame Russell, Rights Action (by email)

Date of publication: 
4 February 2010

Why is Goldcorp Inc. (Canadian gold mining company) afraid of Gregoria Crisanta Perez, a poor, Mayan-Mam woman? Why did Guatemalan legal authorities issue two “capture orders” and try and put her in jail?

Watch a 4-minute interview with Gregoria Crisanta, explaining what some of their struggle is about:


Goldcorp’s “Marlin” mine is in the mountainous municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacan, department of San Marcos, in western Guatemala (bordering the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico). The majority of inhabitants of this region are Mayan Mam campesinos.

It is a huge open-pit, cyanide-bonding gold mine. Since 2005, there has been growing opposition due to a wide range of environmental and health harms and indigenous and human rights violations linked to the mine’s operations.

On Monday, February 1, 2010, Gregoria Crisanta was taken by police and presented before the justice of the peace in San Miguel Ixtahuacan. To then “formalize” their detention of her, based on previous “capture orders” issued after activities in protest against harms and violations linked the mine, the police needed to present her before legal authorities in the city of San Marcos.

As the police were taking her to San Marcos, the road was blocked and Gregoria Crisanta was liberated by local populations. There was no violence.


Two days before her detention, I was in San Miguel Ixtahuacan meeting with ADISMI (Association for Integral Development of San Miguel Ixtahuacan). ADISMI is a leading community based organization comprised of mining affected community members, including Gregoria Crisanta. She could not make the meeting, though she lived only a couple of miles from where we were.

Speaking with Gregoria by phone, she said it was not a good idea, that day, for a gringo to visit her. In Agel, her mountainside village, if certain neighbors saw a gringo visit her, they might get even madder at her for her opposition to the mine.

Beyond threats and repression against community leaders who oppose Goldcorp’s mine, beyond the environmental and health harms and human rights violations linked to the mine’s operation, the mine, since 2005, is causing deep and sometimes violent divisions between impoverished community and family members.

Moreover, Goldcorp began its mining exploration process here in the 1990s, when local populations were still suffering the legacy and trauma of Guatemala’s 36 years of state terrorism and genocide.

The immediate cause of Gregoria Crisanta’s detention was a family dispute concerning the sale of small plots of land — a most contentious issue as Goldcorp has been, since the late 1990s, acquiring plots of land by hook or crook, or simply taking advantage of the poverty of the local population.

A family member called the justice of the peace to help resolve the dispute. Once detained, the authorities then tried to carry out the pending “capture orders”. Fortunately, they were not successful. She is now living with trusted community members, somewhere in San Miguel Ixtahuacan.


The laying of the criminal “charges” and the attempt to carry out the “capture order” take place in the context of on-going efforts to isolate, put fear into and repress opposition to Goldcorp’s mine.

These “charges” and “capture orders” are a manipulation of the corrupted and dysfunctional Guatemala legal system on behalf of Goldcorp, its directors, shareholders and investors.

Goldcorp will deny they have anything to do with disputes over land, or of the laying of criminal charges against Gregoria Crisanta; just as Goldcorp denies that environmental and health harms and human rights violations are linked to its mining operation: deforestation, water depletion, water and air contamination, cracked houses, hair loss, skin rashes and diseases, blood poisoning, family and community divisions and violence, repression against leaders, etc.

Goldcorp hides behind the facade of the “rule of law” in Guatemala. Yet everyone, from the most grassroots human rights organization in Guatemala, through to the United Nations, knows that the militarily powerful in Guatemala and wealthy sectors, including international companies and investors, can commit human rights violations and other abuses and get away with it.

The rule of law and legal system does not work when Mayan Mam villagers file legal complaints about environmental harms, health harms, human rights violations, or the use of coercion to force them to sell their lands. Yet, the same rule of law and legal system will “work” if Goldcorp lays a complaint against a villager, who happens to be in opposition to some aspect of the mining operation. It will work if Goldcorp pressures the authorities to file criminal charges against protesters … even when Goldcorp security guards use violence against the protesters.

For the wealthy and powerful, impunity is the norm.


Over the past 5 years, Rights Action (as well as many Guatemalan and North American human rights and social justice groups, like, USA,, Canada) has investigated and reported on the multiple harms and violations caused by Goldcorp’s “Marlin” mine. On request, Rights Action can provide links to background articles, reports, documentary films, etc.

Over the past 5 years, community groups across San Miguel Ixtahuacan — despite their poverty, isolation, vulnerability and the threats and repression — have increasingly expressed their opposition to this harmful mining project. Gregoria Crisanta is a well known, respected and courageous community leader.

It is proof of the people’s dignity and basic sense of right and wrong, that community members blocked the police vehicle, in which Gregoria Crisanta was being transported, and liberated her. She is not a criminal. She is a courageous mother, a proud Mayan Mam woman, and an amazing defender of community development, the environment and human rights.

Beyond Goldcorp’s harmful (and extremely profitable) presence in the region, why do the Canadian Pension Plan (and many North American pension funds and private investors — see list, below) continue to invest in and profit from Goldcorp, ignoring the growing list of documented environmental and health harms and human rights violations?

Why do the government of Canada and the dominant Conservative and Liberal parties support the continuing expansion of the Canadian mining industry throughout Guatemala, and across the Americas, likewise ignoring the documented environmental and health harms and human rights violations, while blocking efforts to pass criminal or civil law reforms that would allow affected people and parties to seek legal remedy and accountability in Canada for environmental and health harms and human rights violations caused by our companies?

Gregoria Crisanta is not only a victim of the lack of rule of law and impunity in Guatemala, but in Canada as well.

(Grahame Russell is co-director of Rights Action, info [at] rightsaction [dot] org, Feel free to redistribute and republish this article)

(Below: lists of investors & political offices)

  • The dropping of all “charges” pending against Gregoria Crisanta Perez and at least 13 other impoverished campesino Mayan Mam people of San Miguel Ixtahuacan who have “criminal charges” pending against them.
  • The immediate suspension of Goldcorp’s mining licence and the carrying out in Guatemala and Canada of impartial, public hearings investigating the long list of allegations of environmental and health harms and human rights violations linked to Goldcorp’s “Marlin Mine” project.
  • That, based on the public hearings, Goldcorp provide complete compensation and reparations to families and communities that have suffered environmental and health harms and human rights violations.


Please consider joining this delegation – “Mining companies * versus * community development, environmental justice, indigenous & human rights”. This delegation will visit with Mayan communities affected by environmental and health harms and human rights violations caused by large-scale “development” projects, particularly gold, silver and nickel mining operations – in the context of Guatemala’s on-going impunity and lack of justice; exploitation and widespread poverty; and generalized lack of democracy. (info [at] rightsaction [dot] org)


Since 2005, Rights Action has being funding and working with community based groups — like ADISMI — that are educating and organization to promote community-controlled development and to defend local environments and human rights from the incursions of mining companies. To support these efforts, make check payable to “Rights Action” and mail to:

  • UNITED STATES: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
  • CANADA: 552 – 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8



JOIN our listserv. Click:
JOIN our newsletter mail list. Send name and address to: info [at] rightsaction [dot] org
CREATE YOUR OWN email and mail lists and re-distribute our information
RECOMMENDED BOOKS: Eduardo Galeano’s “Open Veins of Latin America”; Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”; Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”; Paolo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”; Dr Seuss’s “Horton Hears A Who”
Contact us to plan educational presentations in your own community, school, place of worship, home (info [at] rightsaction [dot] org)
Form your own group or join one of our delegations to learn first hand about community development, human rights and environmental struggles (info [at] rightsaction [dot] org)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: info [at] rightsaction [dot] org,


. . . and …


  • Goldcorp Chairman Ian Telfer’s 2006 payday worth $23-million. (Globe and Mail, April 4, 2007)
  • The University of B.C. received a $5 million donation, for a new earth-sciences building, from Goldcorp chairman Ian Telfer (Vancouver Sun, April 26, 2007).
  • Goldcorp Inc. Chairman Ian Telfer donated $25 million to the University of Ottawa’s management school; it will be renamed the Telfer School of Management (Ottawa Citizen, May 9, 2007).


Chuck Jeannes, President & CEO
666 Burrard Street, Suite 3400
Vancouver, B.C. V6C 2X8
Main: (604) 696-3000
Direct: 604-696-3076
Chuck.Jeannes [at] goldcorp [dot] com
Kim Keras, executive assistant,
Kim.Keras [at] goldcorp [dot] com

Tim Miller, Goldcorp – Central America
Tim.Miller [at] montana [dot] com [dot] gt

Dina Aloi, Goldcorp – VP Corporate Social Responsibility
Dina.Aloi [at] goldcorp [dot] com

David Deisley, Goldcorp – legal counsel
david.deisley [at] goldcorp [dot] com

Jeff Wilhoit, Goldcorp – investor relations
Jeff.Wilhoit [at] goldcorp [dot] com

Suite 3400-666 Burrard St.
Vancouver, BC, V6C 2X8
T: (866) 696-3055, local (604) 696-3055, Directors [at] Goldcorp [dot] com

3201—130 Adelaide St. W.
Toronto, ON, M5H-3P5
T: (416) 865-0326

hr [at] goldcorp [dot] com

Jim Schenck, Goldcorp – Guatemala City
jamess [at] montana [dot] com [dot] gt

Lisa Wade, Goldcorp – Guatemala City
lisa.wade [at] montana [dot] com [dot] gt


Governor General of Canada
Michaƫlle Jean
Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON, K1A-0A1
info [at] gg [dot] ca, t: (613) 993-8200, t: 800 465-6890

Prime Minister
Stephen Harper
harpes [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca

Minister of International Cooperation
Bev Oda
509-S Centre Block, House of Commons
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6
Oda.B [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lawrence Cannon
509-S Centre Block, House of Commons
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6
cannol [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca

Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
Peter Kent
125 Sussex Dr
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
T: (613) 992-0253, F: (613) 992-0887, kent.p [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca

Kevin Sorenson, MP
Chair, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
T: (613) 947-4608, F: (613) 947-4611, SorenK [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca

Gilles Duceppe, leader, Bloc Quebecois
1200 Papineau Av, #350
Montreal, Quebec H2K 4R5
ducepg [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca

Jack Layton, leader, New Democratic Party
221 Broadview Ave, Suite 100
Toronto, ON MM 2G3
laytoj [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca

Elizabeth May, leader, Green Party
Saanich Gulf Islands EDA
PO Box 20076
Sidney BC V8L 5C9
emaytowin [at] greenparty [dot] ca

Michael Ignatieff, leader, Liberal Party
656 The Queensway
Etobicoke, ON M8Y 1K7
ignatm [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca

Larry Bagnell, liberal MP, bagnell.l [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Stockwell Day, conservative MP, days [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Peter Julian, NDP MP, julian.p [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Peter Mckay, conservative MP, Mckayj [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
John MacKay, liberal MP, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, T: (613) 992-1447, F: (613) 992-8968, MckayJ [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Bob Rae, liberal MP, Foreign Affairs Critic, T: (613) 992-5234, F: (613) 996-9607, RaeB [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Francine Lalonde, Bloc Quebecois MP, Foreign Affairs Critic, T: (613) 995-6327, F: (613) 996-5173, LalonF [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Paul Dewar, NDP MP, Foreign Affairs Critic, T: (613) 996-5322, F: (613) 996-5323, DewarP [at] parl [dot] gc [dot] ca
Alexandre Leveque, DFAIT, Director Caribbean, Central America & Regional Policy,
125 Sussex Dr
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
T: 613-992-2971, F: 613-944-0760
Barbara Curran, CIDA Director, Canadian International Development Agency,
200 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0G4
T: 819-994-4092, F: 819-997-0628, barbara.curran [at] acdi-cida [dot] gc [dot] ca


CANADIAN Embassy in Guatemala
Ambassador Leeann McKechnie
leeann.mckechnie [at] international [dot] gc [dot] ca
Karin Reinecke, Assistant to the Ambassador
karin.reinecke [at] international [dot] gc [dot] ca
13 Calle 8-44 Zone 10, Edificio Edyma Plaza
Ciudad de Guatemala
T: (502) 2363-4348
gtmla [at] international [dot] gc [dot] ca

csr [at] cppib [dot] ca, 416-868-4075, Toll Free: 1-866-557-9510

Stakeholder Relations
1 Queen Street East, Suite 2600
Toronto, ON, M5C 2W5
Toll free: 1 (866) 557-9510
(416) 868-6612



Fidelity Management / 47,023,114 / 6.44
Investor Relations, 82 Devonshire Street, Boston MA, 02109, 617-563-0371

Barclays Global Investment / 33,976,447 / 4.65
Blake Grossman, 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 4HP, 415-597-2735

Pyramis Global Advis / 21,399,960 / 2.93
Jack Sholl, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield Street, MA, 02109, 617-392-0172, jack.sholl [at] pyramis [dot] com

Harris Financial Corporation / 18,301,337 / 2.51
Matthew Barrett, 111 West Monroe, PO Box 755, Chicago Il, 60690, 312-461-3167, investmentservices [at] theharris [dot] com

RBC Asset Management / 17,905,559 / 2.45
Frank Lippa, Royal TR Tower, Suite 3800, 77 King St W, Toronto, ON, M5K 1H1

Jarislowsky Fraser Li / 17,190,505 / 2.35
Pierre Lapointe, 1010 Sherbrooke St. West, Suite 2005, Montreal, PQ, H3A 2R7, 514-842-2727, plapointe [at] jfl [dot] ca

Blackrock Group Limi / 16,158,436 / 2.21
Dennis Moleeur, 33 King Williams St, London, En, ECAR 9AS, 44-20-7743-2253

Van Eck Associates CO / 11,547,330 / 1.58
Florence Childress, 335 Madison, 19th Floor, New York, NY, 10016, 212-293-2125, Florence.childress [at] vaneck [dot] com

Caisse De Depot, Et Plan / 10,977,431 / 1.50
Luc Houle, 1000, Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montreal, PQ, H2Z 2B3

TD Asset Management I / 8,337,398 / 1.14
Barbara Callbeck, 161 Bay Street 25th floor, Toronto, ON, M5J2T2, 416-9308-5346, [at] tdam [dot] com

Toronto Dominion BA / 8,251,345 / 1.13
Christopher Ontague, PO Box 1, Toronto ON, M5K 1A2, 416-982-8222

Connor Clark & Compa / 7,004,758 / 0.96
Steve Affleck, 1200-925 West Georgia Street, Vancouver BC, V6C 3L2, More_info [at] cclgroup [dot] com

UBS Global Asset Manag / 6,967,348 / 0.95
Mark F Kemper, 312-525-7138, ONE North Wacker, Chicago, IL 60606, comments [at] ubs [dot] com

US Global Investors / 6,542,598 / 0.90
Frank Holmes, 7900 Callaghan Road, San Antonio TX, 78229, 210-308-1234, fholmes [at] usfunds [dot] com

McEwen Robert R / 6,435,651 / 0.88
n/a (?)

Great West Lif Assur / 6,303,915 / 0.86
Susan Ledwich, 100 Osborne St. North, Winnipeg MB, 204-946-7162

OMERS Pension Fund Administraion / 6,041,546 / 0.83
Jenny Tsouvalis, 1 University Avenue Suite 700, Toronto ON, M5J 2P1, 416-947-7201, client [at] omers [dot] com

Goodman & Co Investment / 5,588,143 / 0.77
Investor Relations, 1 Adelaide Street East, 29th Floor, Toronto ON, M5H 4A9, 416 365-5100, ir [at] dundeewealth [dot] com

McKinley Capital Manage / 5,549,010 / 0.76
Investor Relations, 3301 C Street Suite 500, Anchorage AK, 99503, 907-563-4488, info [at] mckinleycapital [dot] com

McLean Budden Ltd / 5,533,742 / 0.76
Grant Patterson, 145 King St. West 2525, 416-862-9800

Blackrock advisors / 5,115,096 / 0.70
Denis Moleur 609-282-2382, 100 Bellevue Prakway, Wilmingotn DE, 19809, 609-282-2382

Aletheia Reserach & M / 5,072,177 / 0.69
Roger B. Peikin 310-899-0800, 100 wilshire Blvd suite 1960, Santa Monica CA, 90401, rpeikin [at] aletheiaresearch [dot] com

Tetrem Capital Management / 4,815,500 / 0.66
Junion Damianidis, 204-975-2876, 1450, 201 Portag Ave, Winnipeg MB, R3B-3K6, info [at] tetrem [dot] com

Eaton Vance Managme / 4,784,237 / 0.66
Frederick S. Marius, 255 State St., Boston MA, 02109, 617 598-8423

AGF Funds INCompletely / 4,502,730 / 0.62
Jacqueline Sanz, 416 369-1900, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, Toronto M5K 1E9, tiger [at] agf [dot] com

Carmignac Gestion / 4,306,557 / 0.59
Edouard Carmignac 33-1-42—-86-53-35, Carmignac Gestion, 24 Place Vendome, 75001 Paris, ecarmignac [at] carmignac [dot] com

Chilton Investment CO / 4,267,411 / 0.58
Patricia Mallon, 1266 East Main St. 7th floor, Stamford CT, 06902, 203-352-4180, pmallon [at] chiltoninc [dot] com


Ontario Teachers Pension fund / 2,653,500 / 0.36
Roger Barton 416-730-5321, 5650 Yonge St, Toronto, Canada, 416 730-5321, communications [at] otpp [dot] com

Canada Pension Plan / 1,400,000 / 0.19
John H Butler, 416 868-1171, One queen st. East, suite 2600, Toronto On, M5C 2Wc, 416 868-1171 — $349,000,000 of shares in Goldcorp

Norges Bank / 2,107,573
Investor Relations, Bankplassen 2, 0107 Oslo —No, 47-22-31-60-00, contact [at] nbim [dot] no

Teachers Retirement System of Oklahoma / 131,430
Cathy Conway, P.O. Box 53524, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, 405-521-2387

New York State Teachers retirement System / 65,300
William O’Brien, 518 447-2730, 10 corporate woods drive, Albany, NY, 12211, 518-447-2730, communit [at] nystrs [dot] state [dot] ny [dot] us

Ohio Public Empolyees Retirement System / 36,750
Karen Carraher, 277 East Town St, Columbus OH 43215 Un, 614-227-0059, benefitquestions [at] opers [dot] org