Canadian silver mine in Guatemala under seige from environmentalists

The American press is not reporting on environmentalist activities as much as it used to. Possibly because that their actions have drawn down since the 2016 election. Despite this, environmentalists are still very active outside the United States, particularly in Latin America where they continue to have an impact.

An op-ed at The Daily Caller reveals that 8,000 Guatemalans stand to lose their jobs thanks to an environmentalist campaign relentlessly attacking the Escobal silver mine owned by the Canadian-based company Tahoe Resources.

Since the mine began operating in San Rafael a few years ago, it has had a tremendous economic impact on the surrounding community. More than 100 businesses have opened — including banks, restaurants, hotels and transportation companies. This has given steady income to nearly 7,000 locals on top of the more than 1,000 employed directly by the mine’s operator, Tahoe Resources. It is precisely the type of opportunity that discourages illegal immigration — especially since 95 percent of the jobs at the mine are held by Guatemalans.

Unfortunately, radical environmental activists are sabotaging the operation, bringing forth a lawsuit over unsubstantiated claims that has led to the mine being shut down for more than six months. While the mine’s opponents say they are working for indigenous populations, much of their funding is provided by foreign activists — $17 million in fact. Grassroots they are not.

Guatemala’s court held a final hearing on the mine’s future on October 25, and while it should have ruled within five days, there has been no verdict. The delay is already causing economic damage. After paying every employee in full for months, the mine’s operator announced last week that it had to lay off 25 percent of its workforce in the region. The stalled operations also mean that the company has stopped paying taxes and royalties to the government, causing Guatemala to lose millions per month in much-needed revenue.

Fortunately, Guatemala’s supreme court lifted the suspension in September 2017 allowing Tahoe Resources to resume operating the mine. However, the damage has been done and the environmentalists, no doubt, will resort to direct acts of protest and sabotage like they have done before.

Eventually the environmentalists who condemn Tahoe Resources for extracting silver at the Escobal mine will return to their nice, comfortable fossil fuel powered homes and all of the luxuries they purchased with the blood money earned trying to drive the Guatemalan employees of Tahoe Resources out of work.

This while people in Guatemala suffer because rich environmentalists opposed the exploration and extraction of silver that allows people like these environmentalist elites to have their lifestyles. It is a lot easier to oppose resource extraction when you have a lot of money and think you can tell other people how to live. Then again, what do the lives of a few under class, brown skinned colored people matter to them anyway?