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CAFTA Weakens Central America's Hand in Mining Conflicts

Monday, May 7, 2012

GUATEMALA CITY -- Goldcorp is one of the many mining companies winning big on the Central American Gold Belt. Amid soaring gold prices, its Marlin mine in Guatemala made $609 million in profit last year, up 125 percent from 2010. The second-biggest gold miner in the world, Goldcorp was also Guatemala’s largest single taxpayer last year, paying more than $80 million in royalties and taxes, while also funding community development and health projects.

But the Marlin mine has a downside. Guatemalans living nearby claim to have lead poisoning, and environmentalists say Goldcorp is harming local water supplies irreversibly. Meanwhile, anti-mining activists have allegedly been threatened and attacked by mine security agents. ...

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