Home > Human Rights, Law and Communities > Shareholder Activism: Vote Demands Suspension of Goldcorp Mine in Guatemala

Shareholder Activism: Vote Demands Suspension of Goldcorp Mine in Guatemala

By Amanda Kistler, Guatemala Project Campaigner

We’re off to Vancouver!

As I type this post at 30,000ft flying over Ontario, we are in crunch time preparing for Goldcorp’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Vancouver, BC this Wednesday, May 18th!

CIEL is a member of the International Coalition Against Unjust Mining in Guatemala (CAMIGUA), which works to defend the rights of the indigenous communities affected by Goldcorp’s Marlin mine. We use every tool available to us, including shareholder activism. The shareholders resolution we’ve submitted this year, which CIEL Senior Attorney Kris Genovese will defend on Wednesday, would require Goldcorp to voluntarily suspend operations at the Marlin mine, in compliance with the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The resolution also asks the Goldcorp halt all land acquisition at Marlin as recommended by its own Human Rights Assessment released in May 2010.

The AGM is the company’s chance to tell its shareholders how much money it’s making. On Wednesday, Goldcorp’s shareholders will also hear from Guatemalan and Honduran representatives who will describe the negative impacts of Goldcorp operations on local communities and demand that their rights be respected. Ruben Herrera of the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango hopes to share this message with shareholders: “that we have the right to express our opinion, that we have a right to our future, and that we should be treated with respect.”

Unfortunately, not everyone from Guatemala could make it to the AGM, so CAMIGUA produced a short documentary that will premiere this week in Vancouver to make their voices heard. Among the protagonists is Aniseto López, a local indigenous human rights leader, who testified at the thematic hearing CIEL organized at the IACHR on the Threats Against Environmental Defenders linked with the Mining Industry. Diodora Hernández Cinta also appears in the video; she is a community leader who was attacked and shot in her home in July 2010 by a former and current mine worker for her outspoken opposition to the mine.

In this film, Aniseto sends this message to shareholders: “What I want to say to shareholders is that truly, what their investments are doing is profoundly violating the rights of the people of San Miguel Ixtahuacán. [Shareholders] are definitely happy with their profits, but we are left sad and with the problems. So what I would say to the shareholders, is if there is a way to withdraw their funds, that would be best; because this would return a portion of the peace to us.” (Los que se puede decir a los accionistas es que realmente la inversion que ellos esta haciendo esta violentando mucho los derechos de los pobladores de San Miguel Ixtahuacán. Definitivamente ellos pueden estar felices con sus ganacias, pero nosotros estamos tristes con los problemas. Entonces yo les digo a los accionistas si existe algna manera de retirar estos fondos seria lo major. Porque nos devolveria parte de la paz.)

Miguel Angel Bamaca says, “Take my message with you: What we want is the immediate suspension and closure of the mine because it will take our lives. It will destroy our people.” (Lleveme este mensaje: Queremos la cierre y la suspencion inmediata de la mina porque quiere acabar con nuestras vidas. Quiere acabar con nuestra raza.)

While in Vancouver, we’ll be attending and participating in a flurry of events during the “Mining Justice Week of Action” coordinated locally by the Mining Justice Alliance. Events include a night of arts and resistance, a full-day symposium on Canadian mining companies and the struggles for social justice and indigenous self-determination in the Americas, and a press conference hosted by the British Columbia Union of Indian Chiefs.
Check back on CIEL’s website for the video and tweets from the AGM on Wednesday. Si a la vida, no a la mineria!

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