For nearly a decade, the Indigenous Xinka people, living near the Escobal silver mine in Guatemala, have peacefully opposed the mine -- protecting their lands and waters from destruction. For their resistance, Xinka community members have been killed and jailed.
The silver lining was that they stopped one of the most contentious silver mines in Latin America mid operation.
Meanwhile, the same mining company that is operating in Guatemala, Pan American Silver, is also trying to build a mine in Argentina. It is claiming that the proposed site is on ‘no man’s land’, completely dismissing the presence of Mapuche Tehuelche Indigenous people that live on the land, and steamrolling a massive 20 year resistance against mining.
Pan American Silver’s biggest meeting of the year takes place in early May and we want to deliver a massive petition with tens of thousands of SumOfUs members' signatures to show solidarity with local Guatemalan and Argentine affected communities.
Will you sign the petition calling on Pan American Silver to listen to the local community for its annual meeting?
The Xinka people have demanded the right to free, prior and informed consent and self determination over mining in their territory for over a decade.
Their demand for respect for Xinka people's rights has been fierce but peaceful and it has come at a cost: there has been a loss of lives and dozens have been jailed arbitrarily.
Yet they came together in a show of strength and won an important victory -- in 2017, the Xinka initiated two resistance camps to stop all traffic to the mine, which continue today. Shortly after, Guatemalan courts recognized that the Guatemalan government discriminated against the Xinka and failed to consult them, and the mine was suspended.
Sign the petition calling on Pan American Silver and the Governments of Argentina and Guatemala to respect the rights of indigenous communities.
We know if we come together, we can stop these destructive mining operations in Latin America. A few months ago, the governor of Argentina’s Chubut province was forced to repeal a law allowing mining that would have directly benefited Pan American Silver after six consecutive days of massive protests and roadblocks.
And if we act now, we can demand Pan American Silver and the Guatemalan government respect the consent of the Xinka people.