02 Sep Guatemalan indigenous need rights protected, UN official says (Indian Country Today)
By Rick Kearns
Due to human rights violations affecting the indigenous peoples of the country, Guatemala risks becoming “ungovernable” according to the U.N. official in charge of indigenous rights after a visit in June. These problems revolve around the lack of indigenous rights to prior consultation, as well as territorial and civil rights in Guatemala according to James Anaya, the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people.
Anaya (along with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) also specifically mentioned that the Marlin Mine, owned by Goldcorp of Canada, was a source of many serious pollution allegations and was recently closed due to these problems.
Anaya conducted a series of interviews with Guatemalan government officials, indigenous leaders and other community members, business owners, mine owners, and human rights activists in the second week of June. The Guatemalan government and Native activists invited Anaya to visit after another turbulent year that included more accusations of communities not being consulted before businesses were opened in their territories as well as state and mining company violence against Mayan communities along with more reports of severe pollution and subsequent health problems. … Go to article.