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Mon Aug 20, 2012, 09:47 AM

Mining, Repression And The Rhetoric Of Democracy And The Rule Of Law In Guatemala

By Grahame Russell

Source: rabble.ca

Monday, August 20, 2012


Increasingly, over the past few years, information has been published about serious human rights violations and health and environmental harms being caused in Guatemala by (mainly) Canadian mining company operations: Goldcorp Inc, Radius Gold, Tahoe Resources, Hudbay Minerals, Skye Resources, etc.

It is not possible to understand how these violations and harms occur, and will continue to occur, without understanding the political context. In short, global mining companies profit financially and benefit directly from the fundamental lack of democracy and the rule of law in Guatemala, both historically and on-going today. (This is true, in varying degrees, about global businesses and investors operating in many countries around the world.)

Rhetoric aside about respecting the sovereign democratic will of the duly elected officials of Guatemala, about abiding by the laws and regulations that govern the country and the mining industry, impunity and corruption are the norm in Guatemala. The wealthy elites in Guatemala, including international companies and investors, act with a huge amount of impunity and have almost complete immunity from legal or political accountability......

The roots of Guatemala's impunity and corruption go back 500 years to the European invasion of the Americas. In recent history, Guatemala’s impunity and corruption are rooted in the 1954 military coup, and in the State repression and genocide of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s.

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Reply Mining, Repression And The Rhetoric Of Democracy And The Rule Of Law In Guatemala (Original post)
polly7 Aug 2012 OP
Judi Lynn Aug 2012 #1

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:24 AM

1. The Guatemalan oligarchs should all be in prison for what they've done to the people

who live there. So much suffering within the country, all completely avoidable if they had refused not to be bought by foreign powers to turn against their fellow human beings.

Their deep, hateful racism made it possible to look at the large Mayan majority as being so different from them they simply have never mattered.

From the article:

Most Guatemalans refer to 1944-54 as their only time of real democracy, when successive civilian governments came to power and actually started to bring about positive reforms as to how the country operated. This "democratic spring" was ended brutally in 1954 when the U.S. government orchestrated a military coup against the government of President Arbenz. The North American media played its role supporting this illegal intervention using the 'Cold War' propaganda of "fighting communism" to justify the unjustifiable. U.S. allies, notably Canada and western European nations, turned a blind eye to yet one more U.S. led intervention.

One day this WILL change. Hope it happens during our lifetimes. It has been hell there for good people since 1954.

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