Guatemalan State Recommended to Suspend Mining Operations


Urgent Action

Date of publication: 
21 March 2010

The International Labour Organization (ILO), through the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, has requested that the Government of Guatemala suspend mining operations in the territories of Indigenous Maya Peoples, including the Maya Kaqchikel communities in San Juan Sacatepequez and the Maya Sipakapense and Maya Mam communities in San Miguel Ixtahuacan, given that the State authorized mining exploitation licenses without carrying out a Consultation of Good Faith in order to obtain free, prior and informed consent as required according to Convention 169 of the ILO, of which Guatemala is signatory. In order to pressure the Government to implement the recommendations, on March 2, Mayan communities and organizations presented a Constitutional Petition to the President of the Republic of Guatemala to implement the recommendations within a maximum term of 30 days. The suspension would directly affect the mining activities of Canadian mining giant Goldcorp Inc. which is currently working in San Miguel Ixtahuacan.

Below you will find a letter to the President of the Republic of Guatemala written by the affected communities and organizations that support them. We are asking for your support and solidarity. Two ways you can act TODAY:

INDIVIDUALS: Please read and sign the letter and send it to the President of the Republic and show your solidarity with the desire of Mayan communities to suspend the mining operations (email address of the President Included)

ORGANIZATIONS: Please send organization/group/union/church name and contact information to: bridget [at] nisgua [dot] org and collectifguatemala3 [at] gmail [dot] com NO LATER THAN APRIL 2

If you have any questions about the attached letter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, if you could let me know if you go ahead and send the attached letter, it would be appreciated!

Jackie McVicar
Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Solidarity Network