The head of Amcham Guatemala, Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote, was involved in the environmental crisis in Izabal, Guatemala. It became known that he was providing legal advice to CGN (Compañia Guatemalteca de Níquel) regarding the extension of nickel mining in the context of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Guatemala.
Let’s remind that CGN is a subsidiary of the Swiss company Solway. It has been mining at the Fenix mine in Izabal since 2014. Locals opposed such industrial giant activities and in 2017 began to openly protest.
Mayans were killed during the protests. The Constitutional Court ruled to stop mining nickel, which harms the ecology of the region.
Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote contributed to the rehabilitation of a nickel mine that harms the ecology of Guatemala
To understand the complexity of the situation, Lake Izabal is one of the largest freshwater bodies in Guatemala. The region is predominantly Mayan. Under international law, any industrial intervention must be fully coordinated with the local community.
According to the media, such consent was not given by locals. The OCCRP published an investigation about Solway’s (CGN’s) criminal activities, including harassment of journalists covering events, intimidation of locals, and the crackdown on protests.
Nothing has changed since the court’s decision. Industrial Circumvention Group involved a renowned specialist in international law and part-time head of Amcham Guatemala, Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote.
His core specialization is industry, mining, minerals, etc.
Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote, who had extensive political ties, helped to avoid the Constitutional Court’s decision. As a result, nickel mining continued.
However, the environmental catastrophe is worsening.
OCCRP reports multiple violations – Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote is in the background
In late 2021, large-scale protests began again in the province. It was necessary to commit more than 500 militaries, which by force suppressed attempts of locals to protect the ecology of the region from the inevitable disaster.
According to OCCRP, residents report incredible pressure.
However, the province’s ecology is destroying.
Water bodies pollution, destruction of the ecosystem, emissions of carcinogens and industrial pollutants to the atmosphere and water bodies.
Who is Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote? It should be handled by the Prosecutor’s Office
To understand the essence of the issue, it should be noted that the main antagonist in this story is not even Solway or CGN. Companies act in their usual interests – earnings. If they find opportunities to expand their activities, they use them.
Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote is one of those who have access to such criminal mechanisms for breaking the law. The media have reported on his connections in influential communities, numerous shell companies, corruption, multiple offshore accounts in different parts of the world.
At the same time, Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote is the head of Amcham Guatemala and Central Law, which is called the follower of the criminal law firm Mossack Fonseca. They have only one legal address. Mossack Fonseca is the agent of most of de Groote’s company. It also served the interests of corrupt, criminal, mafia, dirty politicians, and officials around the world. There was a leak of information from the well-known Panama Papers.
The Carrasco case should be handled by the Prosecutor’s Office, not by the media. FECI is showing inaction. Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote is using his extensive connections to avoid responsibility. In particular, in early 2022, he was renewed as a Head of Amcham Guatemala.