Guatemalans sue Vancouver’s Tahoe Resources Inc. after mine shooting

A general view of the San Rafael minery, a subsidiary of Canadian firm Tahoe Resources, is seen in San Rafael Las Flores municipality, Jalapa departament, 105 km southeast of Guatemala City, on January 12, 2013. STR/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER – Seven Guatemalan men are suing Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources Inc. (TSX: THO) over a shooting during a protest outside the company’s mine in Central America.

The civil lawsuit, which alleges battery and negligence, has been filed in B.C. Supreme Court against Tahoe Resources, which manages the Escobal silver mine east of Guatemala City.

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The men allege in court documents they were shot at close range in April 2013 in what they describe as a planned act of intimidation by the company’s security guards.

The documents, which contain allegations that haven’t been proven, say the company either authorized the use of excessive force, was negligent for not preventing the violence or is liable for the security guards’ actions.

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The men claim they were peacefully protesting on a public road when guards in riot gear emerged and began shooting, injuring their backs, faces, feet and legs.

Tahoe Resources released a statement in May 2013 saying its own investigation found security only took non-lethal measures using tear gas and rubber bullets, and the company was co-operating with a separate government investigation.

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