June 3, 2013
Toronto/Ottawa, June 3, 2013 – On Friday, the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP) submitted a complaint to the Ontario Securities Commission regarding Tahoe Resources’ (TSX: THO; NYSE: TAHO) poor disclosure about violence in connection with the company’s only mine project in southeast Guatemala.
On April 27, security personnel shot and wounded six people gathered outside of the Escobal mine site. Wiretap evidence gathered under orders of the Guatemalan public prosecutor’s office has implicated company employees.
According to the wiretap evidence, Tahoe’s Security Manager Alberto Rotondo ordered the mine security to attack the protestors. Mr. Rotondo has been charged with causing serious and minor injuries and obstructing justice, which included tampering with evidence at the site of the crime. He is currently under house arrest and awaiting an evidentiary hearing in July 2013.
The security advisor for the company, Juan Pablo Oliva Trejo, has also been apprehended in connection to the attack and charged with concealing a crime. According to wiretap evidence, he helped Mr. Rotondo mobilize in the days following the attack, warning him to leave the country to avoid facing legal problems.
According to Securities Commission requirements, Tahoe Resources must file material changes “forthwith”. Company disclosure, however, has been both insufficient and inaccurate.
“We are concerned that Tahoe Resources has downplayed the serious crimes for which its employees have been accused in comments to the press and that it has not issued an official statement since the wiretap evidence came to light that would correct earlier errors,” stated lawyer Shin Imai of JCAP at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.
JCAP has requested that the Commission undertake an investigation based on section 75(1) of the Securities Act. JCAP filed the complaint on behalf of MiningWatch Canada and its Guatemalan partner, the Committee for the Defence of Peace and Life of San Rafael Las Flores.
“As the company’s only mine project, investors, and the public in general, need to know about the implication of its employees in such an egregious attack, as well as widespread and ongoing opposition to the mine,” remarked Jen Moore for MiningWatch Canada.
Local communities have resoundingly rejected the Escobal mining project in 12 community consultations to date and have sustained a peaceful resistance to the mine for three years. Goldcorp owned the Escobal project until 2010 and currently owns 40% of the shares in Tahoe Resources. As of March 2012, the Canadian Pension Plan held $9 million CDN worth of shares in the company.