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14 de abril de 2010 | |

Deaf Ear

Guatemala´s government is not complying with ILO resolution on mining

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In Guatemala, the National Maya Waqib Kej Coordination is demanding Alvaro Colom´s administration to comply with the ILO´s resolution demanding over thirty days ago the cease of mining activities.

The Guatemalan organizations called a press conference because Friday 16th is the deadline of the Executive to comply with the resolution of the international body.

After the press conference with national media, Juana Betzibal, spokesperson of the Maya Wakqib Kej Coordination, explained Real World Radio that the indigenous organizations submitted on March 2nd a constitutional petition to suspend mining licenses.

The ILO´s resolution includes mining operations in indigenous territories of San Juan Sacatepequez and San Miguel Ixtahuacan, where licenses were granted without the communities being consulted, that is contrary to what was established by ILO´s Convention 169 which makes reference to the rights of native peoples.

“Despite this we haven´t received any answer from President Colom, and that is why we are reminding him the legal commitment he has taken to comply with the resolution of the ILO”, said the Maya representative on Tuesday.

In case the government doesn´t give “clear signs” that it is willing to comply with what was established by the ILO, the groups affected by open pit mining will mobilize and carry out concrete actions throughout the country.

Betzibal said that Colom´s administration continues disregarding the fact that community consultations on mining are binding according to Convention 169.

“The Guatemalan government has the obligation to carry out these consultations, and it is not even respecting the ones that already took place. The same happens with the environmental impact assessments, which are often carried out by the companies themselves”, she denounced.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elcanche/

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