International Organizations Reiterate Support for Guatemalan Communities and Institutions Upholding Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights in the case of the communities of La Puya and El Tambor Mine

The undersigned human rights and environmental law organizations applaud recent efforts by
Guatemalan courts to enforce domestic laws and international norms in relation to the right to
consultation and corporate accountability in the case of the El Tambor mine, also known as “Progreso
VII Derivada.”

We reiterate our support for the Communities in peaceful resistance of La Puya in Guatemala. Guatemalan courts have granted a provisional injunction, ordering the suspension of the license for gold and silver extraction at the El Tambor mine. The mine is owned by the company Exploraciones Mineras de Guatemala, SA (Exmingua), subsidiary of US company Kappes, Cassiday & Associates. KCA acquired 100% interest in Exmingua from Canadian company Radius Gold in 2012; Radius receives royalty interest and cash payments from the project.

The injunction was granted because Guatemala’s highest court recognized that the State failed its duty to consult the affected communities prior to awarding the license and did not initiate processes to seek the consent of affected Indigenous peoples. The right of Indigenous peoples to consultation is enshrined in ILO Convention 169 and the right to free, prior and informed consent is recognized by Guatemala, a signatory to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Read the full letter in English here.

Read the full letter in Spanish here.

A mass is held at the peaceful La Puya encampment outside of the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Photo credit: HIJOS

A mass is held at the peaceful encampment outside of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, with several community members who form part of “La Puya.” Photo credit: HIJOS