MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Third Mesoamerican Meeting of Indigenous Communities

Published by MAC on 2005-12-15

Third Mesoamerican Meeting of Indigenous Communities

San Miguel Ixtahuacán

2nd-4th December 2005

Declaration of San Miguel Ixtahuacán to the National and International Public

The representatives of the organizations and the leaders of the communities in the municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacán meeting in this third Mesoamerican Conference declare that:

FIRST: The communities that occupy this municipality are aware that the Guatemalan State has violated our Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by not consulting us and allowing and supporting the operations of the Canadian Translational Glamis Gold Ltd., and their subsidiary, Montana Exploradora of Guatemala, which is currently exploiting gold and silver in open pit mines on our territory.

SECOND: The company, with the use of paramilitary units and the company’s own security, is provoking social instability and insecurity in our communities through threats and intimidations that have reached the point of provoking the death of our brother Alvaro Sánchez, by members of Montana Exploradora’s security forces, leaving behind a widow and two young orphans whom were coerced into not taking the support payments that the law provided them. This reflects the beginnings of the social impacts that the presence of this company is provoking in our municipality, and we cannot expect better in the future.

THIRD: A strategy of trickery is being employed by Montana Exploradora, through its foundation Sierra Madre, which, by offering projects to the communities in an attempt to offset the environmental and social impacts of the mine, plays with the dignity of the municipality by interfering in community necessities that are not being provided for by the State (reproductive health, sports fields, the pavement of the main entrance road to San Miguel, a technology center) and manipulates some leaders into accepting Montana’s proposals, which has provoked great division, verbal attacks and insults between the inhabitants of some communities in the municipality.

Therefore we demand:

1. That the Guatemalan State respect our Rights as Ancient Indigenous Communities with our own culture and respect our own world view.

2. That the National and International Human Rights Organizations verify and ensure compliance with all treaties, accords and other laws on Human Rights, especially those dealing with Indigenous Rights.

3. That the World Bank withdraw its financial support of the Translational Glamis Gold Ltd., because of the violations and trickery which Glamis has committed in our communities, by claiming that it held real consultations with the communities of this municipality about the mine (according to its reports), which is completely false.

4. That the United Nations should comply with its mandate of promoting the culture of Indigenous Communities with their own autonomous territory, self determination and identity.

We ask for prompt compliance with our demands, given in the municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacán, the third of December in the year 2005.

The Association for the Holistic Development of San Miguel (ADISMA)
Melecio Valerio de León Aguilar
Fidel Bravo

Ma’ Jawil Q’ij Women’s Community Association (ASIFEMQ’)
Margarita Yoc
Rosario Bámaca Yoc

Association for San Miguel’s Development(ADIM)
Eusebio Juárez
Ricardo Domingo

The Association for Holistic Mayan Development (Acjhmol ADIMA)
Roland López
Javier de León López

The Movement of Rural Workers (MTC)
Vinicio López
Justo Velásquez

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