Tis rigor and not law

The pleasures of being a foreign mining company in Guerrero, Mexico

Did you think Torex (TXG.to) and its recent travails was an isolated case? Did you buy into that “it was a one-off, it was a single gang, we’re on his trail now, there won’t be any more trouble” thing?

Here’s a translation of this report from Mexico’s Reforma.

Mining Company Faces Blackmail in Guerrero 

Karina SuárezMexico City, 18 February 2015  

Since November 13th last year a syndicate of transport workers has been blockading the entrances to the Campo Morado mine in Guerrero, property of the Belgian mining  company Nyrstar.
The protesters are demanding the payment of a 15 million Peso (U$1.0m) debt which the company denies owing.
“We totally reject the additional payments demanded by the leaders of local unions, as we consider them illegitimate and are looking to destabilize the activities of Nyrstar by seriously affecting our reputation.
“Nystar has made clear its intention to pay transport companies directly, but we refuse to pay additional or unwarranted payments that do not reach the people who directly grant their services”, the company said in a written answer [to Reforma].
The producer of zinc, copper and gold has operated in Guerrero since 2011, but also has projects in Peru, Honduras, Chile, Canada, The USA and Finland.
The company calculates that the protest have caused U$10m in losses and disrupted jobs for 2,500 families in the municipality of Arcelia.
Isidoro Ruiz Delgado, leader of the transport syndicates, explained that his union demanded a pay rise of between 20% and 25% for their workers due to rises in fuel costs and machinery parts.
According to him, the company has refused the renegotiate its agreement and has suspended all payments to transport workers since October, a decision which led to the blockade in the area that has been adhered to by transport workers, mine workers, machine drivers and municipal staff.
Nyrstar had promised to pay its debts accrued but has not done so, he said.

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