Human Rights Impact Assessment

Country: Guatemala Date Range: 2009-2010 Project Lead: Center for Civil & Human Rights

The Center for Civil & Human Rights (CCHR) is working on an impact assessment of gold mining operations at the Marlin Mine in San Marcos, Guatemala. At the request of the Archbishop of Guatemala, the CCHR at Notre Dame Law School formed an independent international panel to conduct a human rights impact assessment of the gold mining operations. The impact assessment addresses the open pit mining practices of Montana Exploradora de Guatemala, S.A., a subsidiary of Goldcorp, Inc.—one of the world’s largest gold mining companies—and its impact on illness and other detrimental human rights effects among the Mayans who live there. The independence of the assessment is ensured through public terms of engagement which disclose the entirety of the relationship between the panel and the Archbishop. Under those terms of engagement, the panel gathered information and conducted interviews from stakeholders, including: affected communities; witnesses; workers at the Marline Mine; journalists; Mayan anthropologists; scientists; human rights, religious and social activists; community and religious leaders; and Guatemalan government officials. The information allowed the panel to assess the Marlin Mine’s past, present and potential future impacts and to arrive at conclusions and recommendations consistent with international legal norms and standards.