Important community actors affected by mining exploitation cut projects in Guatemala are being completely left out from the discussions regarding the new Mining Law Project.
Magalí Rey Rosa, committed environmental activist, refers to this issue in her recent column in the Guatemalan Journal, “Prensa Libre”. Rey Rosa considers the situation cut as a “tragedy”, because Guatemalans keep losing, while the Congress representatives negotiate the proposal: “We are losing time, resources, possibilities, and hopes.”
The Energy and Mines and Economy and Exterior Commissions are ignoring the indigenous people, communities near the mines, environmental and religious groups, and other actors involved. These groups are being negatively affected by the exploitation of the mines, and have made clear their opposition to mining projects in the region. Moreover, the Congress has not taken into consideration the opinions of the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Health and Agriculture, and the tourism sector, which will also be negatively affected by the repercussions of the Mining Law.
Institutions in Guatemala are still very weak and the justice system is highly inefficient. Consequently, the power of the mining sector often wins out over the needs of the general population.
According to Magalí Rey Rosa, the most reasonable thing to do is to prohibit further licenses for mineral exploitation until the Guatemalan government accomplishes the necessary conditions to do it in a rational and constitutional way.
For further reading see the original article(in Spanish) and the activities of the SJC on Mining and Corporate Social Responsibility.