Tahoe loses appeal over Escobal lawsuitThursday January 26 2017 - Street Wireby Mike CaswellA group of Guatemalan protesters may pursue a lawsuit in B.C. over their treatment by security forces during a 2013 incident at Tahoe Resources Inc.'s Escobal mine, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia has ruled. The court has determined that B.C. is the more appropriate venue for the case. It is far from clear if the protesters would receive any compensation through the Guatemalan courts, three appeal judges have determined.The ruling, published on Thursday, Jan. 26, is a substantial setback for Tahoe. A lower court judge previously declined to hear the case, finding that the B.C. courts were not the best place to hear the matter.
The protesters all lived in Guatemala and their alleged injuries occurred there. They were also participating in suitable legal proceedings in that country.
The appeal court, however, has determined that the protesters will have trouble pursuing their case in Guatemala. The court proceedings in that country have been stalled since late 2015. One of the key participants was a Tahoe security manager named Alberto Rotondo, who had been under house arrest in Guatemala while the case awaited trial. On Nov. 29, 2015, he fled Guatemala, travelling to his native Peru.In Mr. Rotondo's absence, the Guatemalan courts have suspended the trial. They have also held Mr. Rotondo in contempt and ordered his arrest. Guatemala is attempting to extradite Mr. Rotondo from Peru, but so far has not had any success. According to the appeal judgment, he may never be extradited and without Mr. Rotondo, the case in Guatemala will not go ahead. It is also unlikely that the protesters will be able to open a separate proceeding against just Tahoe because of the considerable time that has passed since the events, the appeal ruling states.
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Oh man, this is gong to be fun. Ferrari Kev will have to postpone one of his rounds of golf and show up at a Vancouver courtroom soon. This link goes to the official superspin version of the news, but the place to go to get the lowdown is Stockwatch and this Mike Caswell write-up. Here's the top half of the story, click through for the whole thing: