Call for Divestment

Considering that

  • The mining activities in question are being carried out without the prior consent of the people affected; consent that was mandatory for the Guatemalan government to obtain under international law;
  • The companies continue to pursue their activities despite generalized opposition by affected communities, which has been clearly expressed through town-hall meetings, in legal disputes, through statements, news releases and demonstrations;
  • Guatemala is a country that has little respect for human rights, where impunity generally reigns, and that offers no real recourse against illegal acts being committed by foreign companies;
  • The opposition to the mining industry that exists in Guatemala is often met with government repression or that of the mining companies themselves, targeting and endangering the lives of citizens who defend human rights,
  • The companies operating the Escobal, Cerro Blanco, Marlin and Chocoyos projects, (Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources), are registered in Canada, and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange;
  • At this time, the Canadian legal framework does not protect people from the illegal or abusive behaviour of Canadian companies abroad despite ongoing demands to try to improve this;
  • A large part of Goldcorp and Tahoe’s funding comes from Canadian citizens whose assets are invested via several institutions, particularly banks, mutual funds and public pension plans;
  • Investors play a key role in this collective effort undertaken to stop the human rights violations and environmental destruction attributed to Canadian companies, Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources, in Guatemala; the time is particularly well chosen for investors to act, while Goldcorp’s Chocoyos project has not started metal mining and can still be halted;
  • With respect to the Caisse de Dépôt et de Placement du Québec and Canada Pension Fund Investment Board, they both have ethics principles regarding human rights standards and respect for the environment that should guide their investment choices. Despite those principles, the money of millions of Quebec and Canadian taxpayers is invested in Goldcorp and Tahoe via these two institutions.

The Projet Accompagnement Québec Guatemala and the Council of Canadians are launching a campaign calling for divestment through which these organizations:

→ Encourage citizens to be aware of and concerned about the actions of Canadian companies abroad, and to demand adherence to human rights in Guatemala and elsewhere;

→ Invite individuals and groups to take action by divesting from these companies or by encouraging the various institutions that manage their funds and/or collect their contributions to divest from these companies.

→ Demand that public and private institutions, particularly those with responsible or ethical investments policies, withdraw taxpayers’ money from Goldcorp Inc and Tahoe Resources Inc.