GUATEMALA CITY ( Associated Press) — Immigration authorities suspended permanent residency in Guatemala of a Russian citizen and a Belarusian, former directors of a mining company operating in the country, who were deported to the United States along with three was approved by the US Treasury Department. companies for allegedly bribing mining companies, government officials and judges to approve their operations.
The National Institute for Migration announced in a press release that it had suspended the residency of Russian and Belarusian-born Dmitry Kudryakov and Irina Litviniuk, respectively, who were approved by the United States last week. The U.S. Treasury Department said he is allegedly “accused of running several bribery schemes over several years involving politicians, judges and government officials.”
Guatemalan Migration confirmed that both accepted men had left Guatemala.
The US sanctions also include Guatemala Nickel Company (CGN), Nickel Processing Company (Pronico) and MayaNickel, the US authority said. They are subsidiaries of Solvay Investment Group, a Russian-owned company that has been mining in Guatemala since 2011.
Solvay Investment Group has denied having links with Mayankiel and has separated approved people from management of other companies. He launched, as the company defended it, an internal investigation to determine the allegations.
Sanctions granted under the Global Magnitsky Law persecute those who commit serious violations of human rights and corruption around the world. It bars Americans from conducting transactions with sanctioned persons, it also blocks assets and interests that are designated to be in the United States or that are in the possession or control of US persons. They must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The Guatemalan government kept its distance and officially stated that the sanctions were part of good relations with the US authorities.
However, the administration of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has supported the mining operation in the face of community opposition. which are located where they work. On previous occasions, it has come to the point of declaring states of siege and sending police and military to protect and ensure its operations.
One of the most important mining projects in Guatemala is located in El Estor, a municipality in the Izabal Department with just over 70,000 inhabitants. The inhabitants subsist on fishing and commerce, a portion of them have condemned acts of corruption and pollution by mining activity., A very poor area with few paved roads and most of the residents who are outside the small municipal area live in houses made of wood and sheet metal.