Gold Discovered in Guatemalan Highlands (02:32)
Marlin Mine is a gold, silver, and quartz mine located in San Miguel Ixtahuacan, Guatemala. It is owned and operated by Montana Exploradora Company and produces 25,000 tons per day.
Open Pit Mining (02:19)
Problems plague the Guatemalan government, indigenous people, and mining company. Grahame Russell, Director of Rights Action, steps in to help. Georgia Perez is an outspoken local villager in San Miguel Ixtahuacan.
Resistance in San Miguel Ixtahuacan (02:22)
Perez fights in defense of land, water, and health. Electric company puts poles on her land without permission; she cuts off electricity and the company sends police to her property.
Ground Areas to be Mined (02:39)
Electric Company Consultant Mario Carmona explains to the San Miguel Ixtahuacan community that they will work in mines; not everyone wants to be a miner. Gold is separated from rock using cyanide.
Scorched Earth Policy (02:58)
General Efrain Rios Montt was president of Guatemala in 1982; he has close ties to United States. Montt implements a policy that devastates Mayan villages. Javier DeLeon is the Director of ADISMI, a local mining resistance group.
Seeking Peace (02:13)
Diadora Hernandez defends her land by refusing to sell to Goldcorp. Her husband does not work in the mine. He supports the resistance but wonders how to get the company to leave.
Face to Face With Jack Etkin (04:24)
Rights Action directly funds grassroots struggles. The group focuses attention on how Canada and United States are part of the problem in Central America. The cheapest and most destructive forms of mining are used in Guatemalan mines.
Goldcorp Mining Company (03:34)
See an excerpt from a Goldcorp promotional video; human rights advocates protest outside the company's building. Mining explosions crack walls and foundations in village homes. The company refutes allegations.
Community Groups Divided (02:43)
People in San Miguel resist through the process of good faith consultations. U.N. Special Reporter James Anaya notes that indigenous peoples are expressing their views about these projects; voting takes place.
Global Financial System Costs (03:09)
Economist David Korten says gold mining makes rich people richer. Rio Negro massacres result in murder, rape, and torture of civilians. World Bank learns about violence and displacement of indigenous people. Long-term ecological consequences are negative for ongoing development in the region.
Dying Livestock (03:06)
Cows in San Miguel Ixtahuacan are dying; veterinarians disagree on the cause. Millions of gallons of water are used daily for mines. Locals discuss the results of contamination.
Montana Exploradora and Hospital Collaborations (03:06)
Professor Craig Scott states that corporations need to become more transparent. CEO's receive rewards for shareholder returns. Goldcorp agrees to a human rights impact assessment of Marlin Mine. Mining and other global industries do not want hard binding law.
Long-Term Vision (02:47)
Goldcorp tells San Miguel citizens they are a flower company looking to grow orchids. The government grants licenses without consent of communities; machines work the land without owner permission.
Mining Protest in Guatemala City (03:38)
Land owners in San Miguel realize how much money the gold company is earning. Guatemala passes a land reform law. Former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles is on the board of United Fruit Company.
Local Activists Threatened (04:19)
Carmen Mejia states that a company mine bus tried to run her over. Locals in San Miguel, Ixtahuacan want mining machines removed. A landowner believes courts have been bribed; the mine manager says the company bought lawfully.
Fool's Gold (02:12)
Gold is valuable because people assigned it a value; demand drives up the price. Gold is used in making jewelry.
Citizens Confront Mining Authorities (02:33)
A Goldcorp representative states that operations will stop after 50 days if no minerals are found. San Miguel locals want the gold company out of Guatemala. They sign petitions to remove machinery.
Protesting Dangers (04:37)
Residents set fire to machines because Goldcorpis not leaving. Police want neighbors to turn in community members who oppose the company. Members of Goldcorp security force end up in hospital.
Corporation Control (02:14)
Economic power has enormous effect on government decisions. Wall Street interests control Washington DC. Nobody gets elected without huge financial support from big corporations.
A San Miguel Ixtahuacan woman accused of setting fire to machinery sees people with gallons of gasoline. They throw gas inside the house and her brother catches on fire. Roadblocks keep him from going to the hospital.
Responses to Petitions (02:08)
IACHR calls on the Republic of Guatemala to suspend operations at Marlin Mine. Anaya, visits the community. Following his visit, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom initiates the closure of Marlin Mine.
Mining is a Global Problem (03:29)
Mining processes that benefit the few are destroying the human species' ability to self-maintain. Clean water has more value than an ounce of gold. James Russell states that mining would never be permitted in the mountains of Collinsville.
Diadora Hernandez Attacked (01:43)
Hernandez survived being shot; police identify two men involved in the shooting. Goldcorp legal counsel David Deisley states that there is no connection between the men, the assault, and the mine.
Fracturing the Local Community (02:14)
The Inter-American Human Rights Commission modifies precautionary measures issued against the Marlin Mine project for extracting gold in Guatemala. This order permits the company to operate with total freedom.
Changed Community Culture (02:10)
A San Miguel Ixtahuacan resident describes getting shot in the eye. She recalls her neighbor watching, but not helping her.
Continuing the Fight (03:30)
Groups in Guatemala formulate new plans to talk to the government. Across country, people are learning about the fight in San Miguel Ixtahuacan.
Credit: Gold Fever (02:48)
Credit: Gold Fever
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