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GUATEMALA
Mining law declared unconstitutional
Latinamerica Press
7/9/2008
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Guatemala´s Constitutional Court declared seven articles of the country´s Mining Law unconstitutional on June 16, forcing the central government to propose a new mining legislation.

Guatemala´s Constitutional Court declared seven articles of the country´s Mining Law unconstitutional on June 16, forcing the central government to propose a new mining legislation.

In 2007, the Environmental and Social Legal Action Center presented a case before the court to declare seven articles unconstitutional that allowed for mining activity to commence without approved environmental impact or mitigation studies.

The legislation also allowed miners to exploit an area without limits of depth, and permitted the discharge of contaminated waste waters into rivers, stating that the responsibility of preserving the environment was required “when possible.”

The court´s ruling said that the “seriousness of the mining activity´s implications on the environment and nature must be taken into account because the resources are not renewable” and that the industry changes the environment.

Yuri Melini, director of the center that brought the claim said that the ruling marks “Guatemalans’ right to a healthy environment over economic benefits.”
–Latinamerica Press.


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