El Limón-Guajes mine in Guerrero. The El Limón-Guajes mine.

Striking mine workers killed in Guerrero

Violence flares at Canadian-owned mine in Guerrero Gold Belt

Violence flared Saturday in a labor dispute at a Guerrero mine, leaving two striking workers dead.


Armed civilians calling themselves the Tonalapa community police killed the workers, who are among about 800 employees of the Canadian-owned El Limón-Guajes mine who went on strike three weeks ago.

The workers are affiliated with the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) as a result of a deal with the mine’s owner, Torex Gold Resources. But they are demanding the right to join the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers, known as Los Mineros.

Their demands also include improved working conditions and an annual bonus.

The strike and Saturday’s murders have drawn international attention, particularly from the United Steelworkers (USW), which said the killings underscore the repression of labor rights.

“The root of these brutal murders is the widespread repression of labour rights in Mexico,” said USW Canada national director Ken Neumann, who urged the Canadian government to intervene with Mexican authorities and for the company to recognize the basic rights of Mexican workers to prevent further violence.

He described the CTM, whose former leader stashed away millions of dollars in foreign tax havens, as a “protection union” that doesn’t legitimately represent workers. Neumann said the Canadian government should intervene with Mexican authorities to push for Torex Gold to recognize the workers’ rights.


He cited the Canadian government’s claims that it wants to see labor standards in a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that improve wages and working conditions for Mexican workers. “As NAFTA renegotiations shift to Mexico this week, this is an opportune moment for the Canadian government to back up its words with meaningful action,” Neumann said.

El Limón-Guajes mine

Governor Héctor Astudillo yesterday expressed his concern over strike and its impact on the state’s economy. While lamenting the workers’ situation, he said there are more than just 800 people affected because “over 10,000 people” have an indirect economic relationship with the mine and its activities.

A conflict such as this chases away investment, the governor said.

Since the conflict is labor-related it is outside the jurisdiction of his administration, he said, but nonetheless, “it is doing too much damage.”

The El Limón-Guajes mine is located near the town of Real de Limón and is part of Torex’s Morelos Gold Property, in the Guerrero Gold Belt.

Source: Milenio (sp), Mining Weekly (en), Mining.com (en)

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  • Güerito

    November 20, 2017

    Mexico City – Canadian Unifor National President Jerry Dias will visit the site where two striking Mexican miners were brutally murdered near the Media Luna mine in Guerrero State, Mexico.

    “I am saddened and angered that these workers were murdered for standing up for their right to join the union of their choice,” said Dias. “Unifor joins Los Mineros in the call for justice and the demand that those responsible for the murder of the Peña brothers be held accountable.”

    Approximately 600 workers at the mine, owned by Canada’s Torex Gold Resources, went on strike after they were prevented from leaving the CTM to join Los Mineros (the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic).

    This terrible act of violence occurred as the Mexican government continued to reject labour reform at NAFTA talks just a few hours away in Mexico City.

    “I challenge Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to show courage and to do the right thing by accepting the proposed NAFTA labour reforms to guarantee the right to free association and free collective bargaining,” said Dias.

    Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.”



  • DreadFool

    same old same old since 1492