David Mercer at Al Jazeera has a short clip on the Marlin Mine in Guatemala. It's the largest and most profitable mine in Guatemala that has been the source of conflict for several years now.
Located 300 kilometres west of Guatemala City, the Canadian-owned mine employs more than 2,000 people, the majority of whom are Guatemalan. Last year it produced 382,400 ounces of gold, earning the company $607m - nearly five times what it earned in 2009. Reserves will support production until 2017, with further exploration expected to extend the life of its operations.
The region around Marlin is home to the Mam and Sipakapense people, two of Guatemala's 21 indigenous Maya groups. The communities here, like most Maya communities, have traditionally been neglected by the Guatemalan government and have high rates of poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition.
Goldcorp, the company that owns Marlin, and their supporters say the mine has brought much needed economic development to the region, building roads, health clinics and schools.
"Boys and girls that used to walk up to eight kilometres to receive an education can now (go) to school in their own communities due to the company's contribution to infrastructure," said Eduardo Villacorta, Central and South American Vice President of Operations. He added that the company is also committed to capacity building.
"The objective is to train people so that when the company leaves they will have the opportunity to maintain a good quality of life, and more and better opportunities," Villacorta said.
But Grahame Russell, a human rights lawyer with the NGO Rights Action, told Al Jazeera the appearance of skin infections in the local population, cracking homes and threats against local activists tell a different story.
"While the mine is certainly providing sustainable and substantial profits for investors, the only thing sustainable it is providing to the local indigenous communities, besides a small number of very low paying jobs, is a long list of serious health and environmental harms, and other human rights violations," he said.