If you read this blog, you will know that in the past four or so years, I have visited the Marlin and Escobal Mines in Guatemala many times. (Do a search with these key words in the box at top-right to get all I have written about these visits.)
Thus it is no secret that I have consulted to Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources. I am honored to have worked for them, impressed by what they do, and proud of my small contributions.
Thus I am saddened by today’s reports of violence at the Escobal Mine. I know what is reported is not the full story. So what I write hereafter, is an attempt to start setting the record right.
I have no special insight, no particular inside information, no source of facts other than those that are public. I have not discussed any of the following with people from the mining companies affected. Thus I write only on the basis of what I have observed, read, and heard in casual supper conversations with people who have no greater insight than I have.
There have been a number of protests and deaths at the Escobal Mine. Security guards have been shot and killed. It all gets worse.
I know that the local community of Las Florez benefits from the mine, and I suspect support the mine. Afterall the mine would not have come this far without the locals support.
Why then the current violence? In my opinion, the mine is caught up in a great national political fight of vicious proportions. Recall that last year a conservative president was elected. I understand he has significant support from the urban population. But many of the rural folk oppose him. In particular, the opposition–naturally enough–opposes him.
To the north of the mine, unaffected by the mine, whose waters flow south, are communities known as the thugs. They make their living being violent in the pay of those who will pay. Is it possible that the opposition has “joined” with these thugs to make mayhem at the mine in order to embarrass the government and maybe even topple them? Hence take control of the mine and its riches?
Is the current violence the result of venial opposition politicians who care not a whit about mining, but care everything about power? Or lust after silver profits?
I have heard suggestions that international groups are funding the violence. I shuddered when Amnesty International was mentioned as a possible source of funds and instigation to violence. Who paid for the busses that transported the killers to the mine?
We all know the international “do-good” organizations get funds from befuddled donors on the basis of emotion, violence, and action. Could it be that the death of a few kids, guards, police, or innocent by-standers is nothing to these international “do-gooders” by comparison with the money that comes in as a result of news and exposure? A photo of a bloodied protester is worth lots in terms of money raised from Hollywood stars.
Those who talk and write of “license to mine” are silent. The Escobal violence does not fit in their neat categories of philosophy. What is the mine to do? Pay all politicians, regardless of their venality? Pay-off thugs no where near the mine? How far do the benefits of mining flow when the government supports mining, but is opposed by the socialist and communists?
Even the USA has had to confront this issue. Maybe the USA over-reacted, but today we are free and democracy reigns. For democracy and decency cannot overcome terrorist by nice means alone. Witness the Boston Marathon horror. Sometimes you have to kill with a drone. Sometimes the police have to arrest and detain. Sometimes a country has to go to war with those of terrible views who would put us all in chains as part of their evil, paranoia, or Stalin-instincts.
As Churchill said: “If, as a youth, you are not a liberal, you have no heart. If, as an old man, you are not a conservative, you have no brain.”
I have reviewed and refuted crap reports by church groups in Colorado. Their engineering was pathetic and prejudiced by their prejudices. Email me for the reports–they are long and revealing, but public. These reports illustrate the illusions and lies people who oppose mining will indulge in. Or are the church people merely tools of more evil people who manipulate the silly church-goers?
Nothing new about that idea. Marx said the church is the opium of the people in service of the rulers to keep the oppressed in their place. (This is probably the only thing he wrote that I agree with!)
So the brandy takes effect. I run out of indignation. I run out of intelligent points. In summary, I am saddened by what international organizations and opposition politicians will do to derail truth, decency, and honesty. I am horrified by how many these people are happy to see die in pursuit of their twisted ideals & profit..
It is thus in Guatemala and America–witness those who oppose Obama-care!