News Release

Guatemalan Prosecutor Summons Tahoe Resources CEO to Testify about Criminalization of Community Leaders

Source: 
Committee in Defense of Life and Peace of San Rafael Las Flores - Guatemalan Centre for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS)

(Guatemala City) Kevin McArthur, CEO of the transnational Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources Inc, owner of the subsidiary Minera San Rafael S.A., has been summoned by the District Attorney’s office in Villa Nueva, department of Guatemala to provide his declaration with regard to Minera San Rafael’s policy of criminalization against community leaders in the department of Santa Rosa who are in peaceful resistance to the Escobal mine. This declaration was requested as part of case MP015-2013-7757 for which the District Attorney is responible and in which regard the Manager of External Relations for Minera San Rafael, Camilo Ernesto Medina Mazariegos, has falsely accused without grounds the community leader and coordinator of the Committee in Defense of Life and Peace of San Rafael Las Flores, Oscar Roderico Morales Garcia. This is the third time that Minera San Rafael has made efforts to criminalize Oscar Roderico Morales Garcia by way of its workers.

The summons for Kevin McArthur as CEO of Tahoe Resources to provide his testimony to the District Attorney’s office in the Municipality of Villa Nueva was presented to the office of Minera San Rafael in Guatemala City on the afternoon of October 15th, 2014. According to the order, Mr. McArthur is obliged to be present to make his declaration on October 21st at 10am.

The Committee in Defense of Life and Peace of San Rafael Las Flores and the Guatemalan Centre for Environmental, Social and Legal Action (CALAS) have been taking all possible legal actions to ensure that the CEO of Tahoe Resources appears in Guatemala to provide his testimony and demonstrate the policy of criminalization against activists and community leaders that Minera San Rafael has been carrying out.

‘Justice for Nature, Justice for Communities in Resistance’

For more information:

Summary of Related Documents

On October 10, 2014, Oscar Roderico Morales García made a request to the District Attorney’s Office in Villa Nueva, Department of Guatemala to summon Tahoe Resources CEO Kevin McArthur to testify in connection with criminal charges made against him by a Tahoe employee. The reason provided for the request was “To testify to the policy of criminalization that [the company’s subsidiary] has been carrying out against community leaders in resistance to the imposition of the Escobal mining project in the muncipality of San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa. This declaration will demonstrate that the complaint that has been made against me is part of a series of cases that Tahoe Resources Inc by way of Minera San Rafael, S.A. has undertaken in Guatemala against community leaders in the area of influence of the Escobal mine in order to effectively impose it on the community.” The request makes reference to rights enshrined in the Guatemalan Political Constitution and Procedural Criminal Code. See original document: C 02035-2014-00507/MP 015-2013-7757 (attached here).

On October 15, 2014, the District Attorney’s Office in the Municipality of Villa Nueva, Guatemala issued an urgent summons addressed to CEO Kevin McArthur at Tahoe Resources’ office in Guatemala City requesting his presence at the District Attorney’s office on October 21, 2014 at 10am or to communicate directly with the office by phone. He is asked to provide his testimony in response to Oscar Roderico Morales García's request. See original document signed by Auxilliary Attorney I Karen Jimena Ucelo Lima and received at the offices of Minera San Rafael S.A. in Guatemala at 3:40pm on October 15, 2015: MP015-2013-7757, Fiscalía Municipal de Villa Nueva, Guatemala, Agencia 3UDI.