Another Setback for Mining in Guatemala

The Constitutional Court has confirmed the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, which last June suspended the operating licenses of the Escobal mine, run by Minera San Rafael.

Friday, August 25, 2017

In its resolution, the Constitutional Court argued that "... when the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) authorized the operations, it denied the existence of the Xinca group and did not consult them about the work they would do."

In May the Center for Legal, Environmental and Social Action of Guatemala (Calas) filed an application for an injunction, arguing that the Ministry of Energy and Mines did not carry out community consultations prior to authorizing the licenses. This application was accepted by the Supreme Court in June, and since then operations at the mine have been paralyzed. See: "Another Mining Company Suspended in Guatemala" reports that "...Andrés Dávila, a spokesperson for the mine, described the decision of the Central Bank as regrettable, because it harms a lot of people. "It is regrettable that the CC has not followed the same ruling of May 26 regarding a hydroelectric plant and we will continue the legal process." Dávila acknowledged that they had not received notification from the CC, but learned of the resolution through social networks. 'It is not proceeding in a legal manner at all. Even today we paid royalties to the Municipality of San Rafael Las Flores, despite being suspended."

More on this topic

The High Cost of Legal Uncertainty

July 2018

One year after the suspension of operations at the El Escobal mining project in Guatemala, the company is still waiting for a definitive judicial decision from the Constitutional Court.

In May 2018, the Legal, Environmental and Social Action Center of Guatemala (Calas) filed an appeal for legal protection, arguing that the Ministry of Energy and Mines had not carried out the necessary community consultations before authorizing the licenses. 

Situation Worsens at San Rafael Mine

January 2018

After seven months of suspended operations, the company that operates the Escobal mine in Guatemala has announced that it is making 250 workers redundant.

The company interrupted its activities after the Supreme Court of Justice granted an injunction to the Legal, Environmental and Social Action Center (Calas), in July 2017, after denouncing that the Ministry of Energy and Mines had not carried out prior community consultations..

San Rafael Mine Tries to Resume Operations

September 2017

Amid blockades by local residents, the company that operates the Escobal mine in Guatemala is trying to normalize its activities, after having obtained a legal guarantee to do so.

After the Supreme Court of Justice overturned an injunction filed by an environmental group against Minera San Rafael, representatives from the company say that they are trying to resume operations, but the constant blockades and demonstrations of neighbors in the area is preventing activities from returning to normal.

Another Mining Company Suspended in Guatemala

July 2017

Minera San Rafael will have to cease operations after its two operating licenses were suspended as a result of a writ of protection granted by the Supreme Court of Justice to an environmental group. reports that "... The licenses for El Escobal, approved in 2013, and Juan Bosco, in 2012, are suspended and as a consequence, the San Rafael mine must stop its operations. The extraction plants whose licenses are now invalid are located in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, and Nueva Santa Rosa, Casillas, and San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa."

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