Brief news reports and an announcement by Tahoe Resources indicate that three were killed in an attack on the Escobal Mine in Guatemala. The local Spanish-language newspaper, El Metropolitano, has a front-page headline “Terrorism in San Rafael Las Flores.” San Rafael Las Flores is the local town where most locals working on the mine live.
My Spanish is poor, but here is my translation of some of the points from this report:
About 500 meters from the mine a group of terrorist [reported to have been about 40 strong] clashed with mine guards killing three. The group of terrorists who used professional methods were well armed (with AK-47s) and had large vehicles. They cut trees down to block the main access roads to the town and mine site, blew up power installations, and tried to enter the mine. Government officials said that the terrorist used tactics previously used in the 35 year-ago civil war.
The exact words are thus:
El Ministerio Publico, por intermedio de la Seccion de Investigation Criminal, informo que los involucrados en esta acto terrorista podrian ser exsoldatos y exguerrilleros, pues la planificacion es el misma que se utilizo en el enfrentarniento armado interno que vivo el pais durrante mas de 35 anos.
We know little more. Yet we may say this was more than discontent about mining. We will have to see what the real reasons were and who was behind what appears to have been a well-financed, and intensely planned attack on a mine. One comment I heard was: “They know who did it; but justice moves slow in Guatemala.”
Meanwhile our sympathy to the families of two guards killed, namely Sergio Chua Jiminez (25 years old) and Fredy Leonel Chua Choc (28 years old). The third person killed was of the terrorist group and is not named in the report.