Source: Center for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS) – MiningWatch Canada – Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)
(Guatemala City/Ottawa) On Wednesday, a Guatemalan judge decided that Tahoe’s former security manager, Alberto Rotondo, should stand trial for his role in a shooting attack on peaceful protesters in April of last year.
On April 27, 2013, Tahoe Resources’ private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the Escobal mine, the company’s only project, in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores in southeastern Guatemala. Rotondo, Tahoe’s then head of security and an ex-military officer from Peru, was arrested at Guatemala’s international airport and charged with allegedly having ordered the attack.
|Alberto Rotondo to stand trial|
Yesterday, the judge ruled that Rotondo should stand trial on charges of causing serious and minor bodily harm to four of the seven men injured in the attack, as well as for obstruction of justice. If convicted, Rotondo could face up to 28 years in prison. The evidentiary hearing is scheduled for February 3, 2015.
“This decision sets an important precedent to the extent that it will allow the Public Prosecutor and the victims to demonstrate the premeditated and aggressive way in which Rotondo orchestrated the attack, as well as the responsibility of Guatemalan authorities in its planning and execution,” explained Rafael Maldonado, Director of the Center for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS).
Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver project is the subject of broad local opposition and ongoing legal processes in Guatemala and Canada. In June 2014, the seven victims of the attack filed a civil suit in British Columbia against the company for its role in the April 2013 violence. The first major hearing in this case is scheduled for April 2015 regarding Tahoe’s argument that the case should be heard in Guatemala instead of Canada.
For more information:
* Rafael Maldonado, Centre for Environmental and Social Legal Action (CALAS), rafamaldonado(at)calas.org.gt, (502) 5307-4250
* Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada, jen(at)miningwatch.ca, (613) 569-3439
* Ellen Moore, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), ellen(at)nisgua.org, (502) 3027-7134
Photo credit to: Vea Canal/Panorama News