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2007-2008 Constitutional Challenge to Marlin exploitation licences filed by Colectivo Madreselva

In 2007, the NGO Colectivo Madreselva brought a constitutional proceeding against the Guatemalan President, the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance. The Association challenged the government’s approval of mining exploitation licences for the Marlin Mine project on the basis that it violated the right of defence, the requirement to consult with indigenous peoples, the rights to life, health and a healthy environment, the right to protection of the person, and failed to take into account environmental assessments or guarantee rights to due process. The court dimissed the claim on the basis that, among other things, the impugned licences were issued in accordance with the General Mining Law (Constitutional Court, 2008).

Type of Action / Tipo de Acción:
Constitutional Proceedings
Legal Description / Descripción Legal:
Corte de Constitucionalidad [Constitutional Court], 9 January 2008, Expediente 123-2007
Extractive Project / Proyecto extractivo:
Region / Región:
Central America
Country / País:
Natural Resource / Recurso natural:
Gold, Silver
Jurisdiction / Jurisdicción:
Guatemalan System
Category of Key Actors in Legal Action / Categoría de actores claves en la Acción Legal:
Grassroots Movements, Political Parties and/or Politicians, State Institutions
Human Rights Violated/Claimed:
Right to consultation, Right to free, prior and informed consent, Right to access information
Key Legal Actors Involved / Actores jurídicos clave involucrados:
Association of Madre Selva, President of Guatemala, Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance
Year Action Started / Año de inicio:
Year Action Ended / Año de finalización:
References / Referencias:

Corte de Constitucionalidad [Constitutional Court], Expediente 123-2007, dated 9 January 2008, online:, accessed 10 February 2021.