Communities of the Sipakepense and Mam Mayan People v. Guatemala

Submitted by John Knox on Thu, 04/03/2014 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
Inter-American Commission

(Admissibility Decision), Report No. 20/14

The petition, which was received on Dec. 11, 2007, alleges that the State of Guatemala authorized the Marlin Mine I project without free, prior and informed consultation with the affected indigenous communities, which has allegedly caused grave consequences, including the contamination of the Tzala River and its tributaries, the only sources of water for consumption and subsistence activities.  They allege that a large number of inhabitants, mainly children, have suffered from health problems as a result of the water pollution.  The Commission finds the petition admissible in relation to the claims arising under articles 5 (right to humane treatment), 8 (right to a fair trial), 9 (freedom from ex post facto laws), 13 (freedom of thought and expression), 19 (rights of the child), 21 (right to property), 23 (right to participate in government), 24 (equal protection), and 25 (judicial protection) of the American Convention, and inadmissible in relation to the claims arising under articles 11 (right to privacy) and 26 (progressive development of economic, social and cultural rights).