Fenix, El Estor, Guatemala

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">El Proyecto Fenix, esta ubicado en el departamento de Izabal en el extremo occidental del lago del mismo nombre. Unos 150 km al noreste de Ciudad Guatemala. Exmibal inició operaciones en Guatemala en 1965 al conseguir una concesion por 40 años (prorrogables por otros 20 mas) para explorar y explotar níquel en Izabal y Alta Verapaz. Estas operaciones se detuvieron en 1979 por la caída de los precios internacionales del metal. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">En diciembre de 2004, Skye Resources Inc. completó la adquisición de Inco Limited de una participación del 70% en Exploraciones Mineras Izabal y Explotaciones S.A. (Exmibal), con lo cual se retomó el proyecto. En agosto de 2008, las empresas HudBay Minerals y Skye Resources anunciaron la fusión de estas, por lo que el Proyecto Fenix paso a manos de HudBay. <br/><br/>En 2007 el estudio ambiental de Skye Resources fue aprobado por las autoridades quedando en condiciones de iniciar operaciones de readecuación de las instalaciones y construcción de nueva infraestructura que permita la producción de Níquel. Junto a la producción de níquel la empresa pretendia explotar ferroniquel, un mineral compuesto por 30% de níquel y 70 de hierro. <br/><br/>La reactivación del proyecto fue un proceso acompañado de críticas y reacciones de las comunidades campesinas e indígenas que se oponen a la minería en sus tierras, razón por la cual, este mismo año la empresa se vio obligada a suspender parcial y temporalmente los trabajos, debido a los graves acontecimientos ocurridos contra la población, ya que un grupo de pobladores, en reclamo por la recuperación de sus territorios ancestrales ocupó un área de los terrenos del proyecto (conocida como área 217). <br/><br/>On 28 March 2011 a group of 11 Guatemalan women filed a lawsuit in a Superior Court in Ontario, Canada, against HudBay Minerals and its subsidiary HMI Nickel Inc. The women alleged that the companies were complicit in the gang rapes suffered by the women at the hands of security personnel hired by the defendant companies. The women claim that the gang rapes occurred in January 2007 during forced evictions of members of the Mayan Q’eqchi’ community living in El Estor. The companies’ nickel mining project – the Fenix project – is located in El Estor. Members of this community have challenged the legitimacy of the mining concession granted for the Fenix project. HudBay Minerals says it will vigorously defend itself against the allegations of rape. <br/><br/>The plaintiffs are part of El Estor’s Mayan Q’eqchi’ community. Most of this community has never accepted the legitimacy of the mining concession and land rights granted by the Guatemalan Government for the Fenix project. The plaintiffs argue that the concession is on their ancestral land and was granted to HudBay without adequately consulting the Q’eqchi’ community. They have protested the development of the project and opposed the removal and resettlement of their homes and community. In 2006, the International Labour Organization ruled that Guatemala had breached international law by granting the Fenix mining concession without first consulting with local Mayan people. The ILO released a report discussing the violation in 2007. <br/><br/>Two related lawsuits seek to hold HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX: HBM) and a subsidiary responsible for the subsequent killing of community leader Adolfo Ich as a result of a land dispute and the shooting and paralysis of local resident German Chub. <br/><br/>In July 2013, the Canadian courts decided that the three lawsuits will be allowed to proceed in Canada following a ruling that makes it possible for firms to face liability at home for incidents that occur overseas. This may have important implications for Canadian mining companies operating abroad and their accountability and liability in Canada for abuses. <br/><br/>De acuerdo con la version de la empresa HudBay Minerals, en abril de 2009, se firmo un acuerdo para facilitar el regreso voluntario de los ocupantes a sus hogares en el pueblo cercano de Las Nubes. El acuerdo se negocio mediante sugerencias y respaldo por parte de diversos organismos y niveles del gobierno. <br/><br/>Mientras que la mayoría de los ocupantes ilegales cumplieron con el acuerdo voluntario y regresaron a sus hogares, una pequeña cantidad continuo ocupando la propiedad de CGN, en contra del acuerdo negociado. <br/><br/>De acuerdo con el Comité de Unidad Campesina, el 27 de septiembre de 2009 uno de los integrantes del cuerpo de seguridad privada de la Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel, habría disparado en contra del profesor Adolfo Ich Chaman en El Estor, cuando se encontraba en reunión con un grupo de personas de las comunidades de La Union y El Chupon, después de que los agresores habían disparado contra unos 20 miembros de la comunidad, por lo cual los Senores, Samuel Coc, Ricardo Acte, Alfredo Xi, Aroldo Cucul, Alejandro Acte, Luciano Choc, Hector Choc y Guzman Chub resultaron gravemente heridos en el incidente. Además, los agentes de seguridad del CGN detuvieron a cuatro personas y los llevaron a un cuarto, sin embargo, los detenidos lograron escapar, la empresa por su parte admitió que cinco de sus guardias de seguridad también resultaron heridos. <br/><br/>The Toronto-based company bought the Fenix project nickel mine in Guatemala in a corporate takeover of Skye Resources in 2008, but sold it in 2011 to Russian firm Solway Investment Group to focus on its Canadian and Peruvian projects. <br/><br/>Environmental threats include harm to the regions rich biodiversity: To mine nickel, a sulphuric acid would be used. This causes the same problems regarding acid mine drainage and contamination of the (ground)water as the mining of gold. The effluents might be discharged in the ocean or in the Izabal Lake. Some communities complained about exploration drilling which caused an erosion runoff that has damaged and polluted several communities’ drinking water supplies<br/><br/>En 2010 no se están realizando actividades de procesamiento ni de minería de niquel en el proyecto Fenix. Hudbay todavía se encuentra en el proceso de determinar como proceder con el proyecto para lo cual, estarían trabajando en un estudio de factibilidad actualizado. <br/><br/>Mientras tanto, las organizaciones ambientales aprovechan este tiempo para crear conciencia e informar a las comunidades sobre los impactos mineros y sus riesgos para la agricultura, el agua, el suelo y la salud de la población. <br/><br/>En septiembre de 2012, fuentes oficiales informaron que Mynor Padilla fue capturado en San Miguel Petapa, en donde se refugiaba evadiendo la orden de captura girada en su contra por el delito de asesinato en grado de tentativa y lesiones leves, el Comité de Unidad Campesina exige a las autoridades judiciales de Puerto Barrios, Izabal que apliquen la justicia en contra de Mynor Padilla sindicado de dar muerte al profesor Adolfo Ich Chaman. <br/><br/>En 2014 se reporta que "On April 4th 2014 a criminal trial will begin in Guatemala to seek justice for some of the countless acts of violence communities have faced – and continue to face – at the hands of these mining companies. On this day, Mynor Padilla, the former Head of Security for the mine, under the ownership of Canadian company Hudbay Minerals and local subsidiary CGN, will be tried for the murder of Aldofo Ich Chamán".<br/><br/>En junio 2 de 2014, se anuncia que después de 30 años de suspensión y con una inversión de $551 millones, el Proyecto Fénix reanudó operaciones para producir hasta 25.000 toneladas anuales de ferro níquel.<br/><br/>Keywords: ferronickel, Canadian company, Q'eqchi Mayan community<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Fenix, El Estor, Guatemala</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/guatemala">Guatemala</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Izabal</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>El Estor</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Mineral ore exploration<br /> Land acquisition conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td>Nickel, Ferronickel</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">200 employees</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">35 000 tons per year of ferronickel to go up to 150 000 tons per year, and 50 000 tons nickel per year<br/><br/>Plannned investment by Solway, 1600 000 000 USD<br/><br/>Planned 60 MW of power in first phase to go up to 135 MW<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>3000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>238 millones en 1977</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>1959</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/skye-resources-inc'>Skye Resources Inc.</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/canada'><small>Canada</small></a><br /><a href='/company/solway-investment-group'>Solway Investment Group</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/russia'><small>Russian Federation</small></a><br /><a href='/company/hudbay-minerals-inc'>HudBay Minerals Inc.</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/canada'><small>Canada</small></a> - <small>Antiguo propietario</small><br /><a href='/company/compania-guatemalteca-de-niquel-cgn'>Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN) <small>(CGN)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/guatemala'><small>Guatemala</small></a> - <small>subsidiaria de Solway Investment Group</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Ministerio de Energia y Minas, Ministerio de Gobernacion de Guatemala, Unidad Fiscal de Delitos Cometidos contra Activistas de Derechos Humanos - Ministerio Publico</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/relatoria-especial-sobre-los-derechos-de-los-pueblos-indigenas-de-las-naciones-unidas-en-guatemala'>Relatoria Especial Sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indigenas de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala <small>(OACDH)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/oficina-del-alto-comisionado-de-las-naciones-unidas-para-los-derechos-humanos-oacnudh'>Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (OACNUDH)</a><br /><a href='/institution/international-labour-organization'>International Labour Organization <small>(ILO)</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Comite de Unida Campesina CUC, Comite de Barrio de la comunidad Las Nubes, Mining Watch Canada, Association for the Integral Development of El Estor, Amnesty International</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Women<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Development of a network/collective action<br /> Land occupation<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Objections to the EIA<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Property damage/arson<br /> Arguments for the rights of mother nature</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>To mine nickel, a sulphuric acid would be used. This causes the same problems regarding acid mine drainage and contamination of the (ground)water as the mining of gold. The effluents might be discharged in the ocean or in the Izabal Lake. Some communities complained about exploration drilling which caused an erosion runoff that has damaged and polluted several communities’ drinking water supplies</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Deaths, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Stopped</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Negotiated alternative solution<br /> New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study<br /> Court decision (undecided)<br /> Project temporarily suspended<br /> Criminalization of activists<br /> Repression<br /> Deaths<br /> Strengthening of participation<br /> Violent targeting of activists<br /> Land demarcation<br /> Withdrawal of company/investment<br /> Migration/displacement</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>There are two court cases against HudBay company going on. One in Canada and one in Guatemala. On the first one, it was reporte in 2013 that for the first time, a Canadian mining company will appear in a Canadian court for actions committed overseas. Hudbay Minerals, Inc., will be standing trial for murder, rapes and attacks committed against Indigenous Guatemalans by security personnel working for Hudbay’s subsidiary, Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN). The court case is proceeding thanks to a precedent-setting decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which ruled in July 2013 in favour of the Mayan Q'eqchi' people of Lote Ocho, near El Estor, Guatemala.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>La empresa detuvo las operaciones, alegando sufrir acoso por parte de las comunidades. Hay juicio en Guatemala en 2014 por violencia a cargo de la compañía canadiense HudBay. La Compañia Guatemalteca de Niquel (subsidiaria de HuBay) y la empresa rusa Solway insisten en la explotación.<br/><br/>Business and Human Rights reported in 2011: "In addition to the March 2011 lawsuit filed against HudBay Minerals, a lawsuit was filed in September 2010 by the widow of a Q’eqchi community leader, Ich Chamán, who was severely beaten and shot in 2009 during a protest against the Fenix mine. His widow, Angelina Choc, claims that security guards from the Fenix project violently beat and shot Chamán, who was unarmed, and killed him. (Ms. Choc is also a plaintiff in the March 2011 lawsuit described above.) The plaintiff alleged that HudBay Minerals failed to take adequate precautions to ensure human rights abuses would be not be perpetrated by its security personnel. On 10 December 2011, another lawsuit was filed against HudBay Minerals in Canada by a survivor of a shooting incident at the Fenix project. The plaintiff, who became paraplegic as a result, alleges that in September of 2009 he was shot at close range in an unprovoked attack by the chief of security for HudBay’s Fenix project. All three lawsuits are ongoing."</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Paley, Dawn (2007). This is what development looks like: Skye Resources and Land Reoccupation in Guatemala.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/899" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Esther Vandenbroucke. Environmental and Socio-Economic impacts of mining in Guatemala: The role of local communities and the ecological justice movement<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.catapa.be/files/thesis_guatemala_0.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Wiig, Henrik (2008). Promoting Respect for the Collective Rights of the Q’eqchi’Population. An evaluation of AEPDI in El Estor, Guatemala. NIBR<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.nibr.no/filer/2008-102.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Siglo 21<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.s21.com.gt/node/145687" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Gold Resource News<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.24hgold.com/english/infocompany.aspx?id=8985384E6680&market=SKR.TO" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Hudbay Minerals<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.hudbayminerals.com/default.aspx?SectionId=087399ff-c45f-433c-b57d-85a81ebb9fb6&LanguageId=3" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Hudbay Minerals<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.hudbayminerals.com/default.aspx?SectionId=9f73d1d2-b8d3-4081-aa00-e2a692a05bb6&LanguageId=3" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Goldcorp Out of Guatemala<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://goldcorpoutnews.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/capturan-a-teniente-coronel-ligado-al-asesinato-de-adolfo-ich-chaman/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Choc v. HudBay<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.chocversushudbay.com/about" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Description of court case in English and Spanish, April 2014<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/solidarity-with-q-eqchi-communities-in-their-struggle-against-canadian-mining-companies" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Arij Riahi, The end of impunity? Indigenous Guatemalans brin Canaian mining company to court, oct 2013<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://dominion.mediacoop.ca/story/end-impunity/18874" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Business & Human Rights Resource Centre<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://business-humanrights.org/Categories/Lawlawsuits/Lawsuitsregulatoryaction/LawsuitsSelectedcases/HudBayMineralslawsuitsreGuatemala?sort_on=publication&batch_size=10&batch_start=2" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> The Canadian Press, Ontario court rules Guatemalan lawsuits against HudBay can go to trial in Canada, Romina Maurino<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/07/23/ontario-court-rules-guatemalan-lawsuits-against-hudbay-can-go-to-trial-in-canada/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> CentralAmericaData, Nickel Production in Guatemala<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/Investment_in_Nickel_Production_in_Guatemala" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> El Periodico<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.elperiodico.com.gt/es//pais/19657" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Response from Hudbay:<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.hudbayminerals.com/English/Responsibility/CSR-Issues/The-facts-Hudbays-former-operations-in-Guatemala/default.aspx" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Skye Resources Inc.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.fasken.com/skye-resources-and-hudbay-minerals-complete-460-million-business-combination/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.cgn.com.gt/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Central America Data, junio 2014, Guatemala vuelve a producir Níquel<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.centralamericadata.com/es/article/home/Guatemala_vuelve_a_producir_Nquel" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Hudbay, 2011, Hudbay Minerals Announces Completion of Sale of Fenix Project and Key Management Appointments<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.hudbayminerals.com/English/Media-Centre/News-Releases/News-Release-Details/2011/Hudbay-Minerals-Announces-Completion-of-Sale-of-Fenix-Project-and-Key-Management-Appointments/default.aspx" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> The Globe and Mail, 2013, Guatemalan plaintiffs in HudBay lawsuit allege interference<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/the-law-page/guatemalan-plaintiffs-in-hudbay-lawsuit-allege-interference/article15058016/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://www.mimundo-fotorreportajes.org/2012/09/en-memoria-de-adolfo-ich-chaman-tres.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Canadian ambassador sued for defaming documentary filmmaker on Estor evictions. Watch the documentary here:<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.schnoorversuscanada.ca/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Maria Cuc Choc: communities face violence related to mining in El Estor, Guatemala<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.miningwatch.ca/maria-cuc-choc-communities-face-violence-related-mining-el-estor-guatemala" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Comments</td><td>In 2006, the International Labour Organization ruled that Guatemala had breached international law by granting the Fenix mining concession without first consulting with local Mayan people. The ILO released a report discussing the violation in 2007. Later, Q'ekchi communities affected by Canadian company HudBay went to court. This case might become influential in Canada depending on the court decision in Guatemala on murder cases and violence that happened in 2009 against HudBay company </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Patricio Chavez, Irene Pietropaoli & Joan Martinez Alier</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>05/06/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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