On April 30, 2015, the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network and the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network joined with over 50 marchers in Toronto’s Financial District to greet Goldcorp head executives and shareholders outside of Goldcorp Inc’s Shareholders Meeting held at the Sheraton Hotel on Queen Street West.
The marchers held up photos of the devastating impacts on community members and the environment of Goldcorp’s Marlin mine in Guatemala and highlighted Goldcorp’s failure to listen to local communities, the increased social unrest that has existed since the mine’s inception, and ongoing human rights abuses and environmental devastation.
The march began with the crowd gathering at Goldcorp’s Toronto office on 130 Adelaide Street for a memorial for Topacio Reynoso Pacheco. This 16 year old activist was murdered a year ago for her resistance to the Escobal mining project, jointly owned by Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources, a company founded by Goldcorp’s former CEO and 40% owned by Goldcorp.
Topacio was assassinated by unknown gunmen on April 13th, 2014 in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, Guatemala. Her father, Edwin Alexander Reynoso who accompanied her at the time, was also shot and suffered serious injuries. Both Topacio and her father were active in the resistance against Canadian company Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine, in San Rafael las Flores, Santa Rosa. Topacio, along with her work as the Youth Coordinator of the Resistance in Mataquescuintla, was also a poet and musician. The memorial was held to honour the life of this youth leader and artist, and to denounce the violent and cowardly act that killed her.
Following the memorial, to commemorate 10 years of resistance to the Marlin Mine in San Miguel Ixtahuacán and Sipakapa in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, and to express disgust and sadness at the ongoing repression, violence, and environmental destruction that is taking place at this mine as well as Goldcorp and Tahoe’s joint Escobal mine, the group marched with red carnations from Goldcorp’s headquarters at 130 Adelaide street to the location of Goldcorp’s Shareholder Meeting at the Sheraton hotel at 123 Queen Street West.
As shareholders left the meeting, the group heard from many speakers, and denounced Goldcorp, for criminalizing and intimidating communities when they stand up for their rights and for their countless acts of human rights violations and lack of concern for the communities and people impacted by their mines.