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12/27/12

Tahoe Resources (THO.to) (TAHO): San Rafael, The loss of a harvest

A most interesting 10 minute video that goes a long way in explaining just why residents and the community around the Tahoe Resources (THO.to) (TAHO) Escobal silver mine in San Rafael, Guatemala, are so vehemently opposed to the arrival of the company.


On hearing the complaints of local agricultors and the negative effects that the new arrival has had on the town, you have to wonder what kind of environmental impact study THO did and whether the effects of the arrival of the mine were ever explained to the population, or even the national government of Guatemala, before permits were approved and the development began. 

Along with the loss of harvests, the way in which markets for the San Rafael agro produce is rejected by its traditional customers because "it comes from where the mine is and we don't want to buy that" and obviously awful community relations standards of the company that doesn't even want to sit down and hear what the farmers have to say, let alone provide reasonable financial recompense, one of the most interesting parts was the mention of how the vast majority of locals resent THO's presence but are scared of speaking out, because if Person X does, the son or daughter or cousin or nephew now employed at the mine will suddenly and coincidentally get laid off.

By watching this Spanish language video, you ge to understand that those opposing THO at Escobal aren't just a bunch of anti-progress anti-everythings, but real people who have seen their lives changed beyond recognition by the arrival of a mining project sitting "a block and a half" from the town (you'll see how close it is on the video, even if you don't get the language used). You'll also get an idea of just why Canadian mining companies are gaining their rotten reputation in Latin America.