Authors Present Report on Guatemala Mine in Ottawa, WA

GDAE Report on Marlin Mine to be presented in Ottawa and Washington, DC

Researcher Lyuba Zarsky will present her recent co-authored report from the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), "Searching for Gold in the Highlands of Guatemala: Economic Benefits and Environmental Risks of the Marlin Mine," at events in Ottawa October 27-8 and Washington Oct.31-Nov.1. The report, released last month in Guatemala, has generated extensive interest from both environmental and human rights advocates and the press. This report, which examines the hazards of the Marlin Mine in San Marcos, Guatemala, owned and operated by the Canadian company Goldcorp, concludes that environmental risks significantly outweigh the economic benefits of the mine.

The central findings of this report include:

  • The Guatemalan government’s share of Marlin’s high profits is minimal. Guatemala receives about 42% of mine revenues, and local communities receive only about 5% of revenues. This is far below the best practice in global mining operations.
  • The  balance of Marlin’s benefits and risks is highly skewed in terms of place and timing. While the mine generates significant economic benefits currently, all benefits will abruptly cease during the closure phase, and local communities will bear all of the environmental burdens. The environmental risk the Marlin mine poses to local communities is exceptionally high and likely to increase over the remaining life of the mine and in the post-closure phase.
  • The Marlin mine is contributing little to sustainable development in Guatemala; little of the royalty and tax revenue generated from the mine has been invested in public goods such as health, education and infrastructure.

Co-author Leonardo Stanley presented the report in San Marcos and Guatemala City, Guatemala earlier this month (read coverage of the presentations in Guatemala). Lyuba Zarksy will present the report to policy-makers, researchers, and mining and human rights advocates in Ottawa and Washington. In Washington, a Goldcorp representative will respond to the report, which was featured in the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. Current events include:

Events in Ottawa

Thursday, October 27th

Press Conference with Lyuba Zarsky, author of "Searching for Gold in the Highlands of Guatemala: Economic Benefits and Environmental Risks of the Marlin Mine."
Location: Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery
Time: 10:00 am
Contact: Jen Moore, 613-569-3439, jen@miningwatch.ca

Lunch meeting with representatives of Canadian civil society
Hosted by Public Service Alliance of Canada Social Justice Fund and MiningWatch Canada
Location: J.C. Carlo Board Room, PSAC, 233 Gilmour St., Ottawa

Time: 12:30-1:30 pm
Please RSVP to: PSAC Social Justice Fund: sjf-fjs@psac-afpc.com
This event is free, but please RSVP to confirm your participation.

Public Lecture and Discussion with Lyuba Zarsky
Hosted by the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa and Territorio Libre
Time: 7:00-9:30 pm
Location: University of Ottawa, Tabaret (TCT), Senate Room 083
550 Cumberland Street, Ottawa
Contact: Territorio Libre: territoirelibre@yahoo.ca
This event is free and registration is not required.

Friday, October 28th

Academic Seminar at the University of Ottawa
Presented by the Human Rights Research and Education Centre and the International Law and the
Institute of the Environment
Location: Fanteux Hall, 57 Louis Pasteur, room 227
University of Ottawa
Time: 11:30-1:00 pm
Contact:  Ginette Chatelain, hrrec@uottawa.ca
This event is free and registration is not required. Feel free to bring your lunch.

Events in Washington, DC

GDAE is pleased to announce that a representative from Goldcorp will be in attendance at presentations in Washington, DC to formally respond to the report, and will be available for questions. Join GDAE, Oxfam America, and Goldcorp for a discussion of the economic benefits and environmental risks of the Marlin mine.

Monday, October 31st 

Presentation of "Searching for Gold in the Highlands of Guatemala: Economic Benefits and Environmental Risks of the Marlin Mine," by Dr. Lyuba Zarsky
Response from Dina Aloi, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Goldcorp
Moderator: Timothy A. Wise, Global Development and Environment Institute
Discussant: Keith Slack, Extractive Industries Program Manager, Oxfam America
Time: 9:00-11:00 am
Location:  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Conference Center, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, Rooms A/B (map)
Contact: Joanna Miller, 617-627-6909, joanna.miller@tufts.edu
This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to Joanna.miller@tufts.edu

Tuesday, November 1st

Forum: Human Rights Challenges for the New Government of Guatemala
Co-Sponsors: Oxfam America, Center for International Environmental Law, Washington Office on Latin America, Global Development and Environment Institute
More information about this event to follow.

Additional events and presentations will be announced soon. Please check our website regularly for the latest information.

Read "Searching for Gold in the Highlands of Guatemala: Economic Benefits and Environmental Risks of the Marlin Mine" or an Executive Summary (also available in Spanish)
Learn more about GDAE’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program.

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