Canada’s Goldcorp operations in Guatemala under the microscope

Canadian giant Goldcorp (TSX:G) (NYSE:GG) has been repeatedly accused of damaging the environment and violating human rights in countries where it operates, particularly Guatemala.

In an in-depth documentary, news outlet AlJazeera TV analyses the main claims against the miner, which has said in its defence that is sharing its high revenues with the underprivileged local community, by providing jobs and economic development.

The company owns the Marlin gold mine in Guatemala, opened in 2005 despite the residents’ opposition. While critics say the operation is environmentally unsound, Goldcorp has built schools, roads and health clinics in the region around the mine, home to two of Guatemala’s indigenous Maya groups, Mam and Sipakapense.

The accusations against the company have recently reached Canadian politicians. In late September, a trip by five parliamentarians to the Central American country —invited by the company—drew questions from both the public and mining industry watchdog groups over lobbying regulations.

"Flying in on the company jet, having closed-door meetings with government officials and having select meetings with certain community actors positions them in a conflict that makes them look very one-sided and is going to undermine whatever they may have to say coming out of this," told CBC News Jen Moore, Latin America Program Coordinator for MiningWatch.

According to industry group, companies such as Goldcorp are discrediting Canadian mineral and mining firms overseas.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver-based miner keeps adding to its success. In times when most miners are reporting profit below estimates, Goldcorp posted better than expected third quarter results.

The  company also has three new mines set to start production next year: the Cerro Negro project in Argentina, Eleonore in Quebec, and Cochenour in Red Lake, Canada.

Image of farmer Diadora Hernández, who refused selling her farm land to Goldcorp. Courtesy of AlJazeera.


You can watch the “Time to monitor Guatemala's mining sector?” special by AlJazeera below:

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