Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Death of a Mexican mining worker attributed to improper operations: Canada's Ambassador to Mexico is singled out as supporter of the repressive actions that lead to his death.

Mining is a dangerous proposal for the peoples of the world. Canada's participation in those developments is the largest one, worldwide! 
Some cases in Mexico, Chile and Central America.

In late August, the family of murdered activist Mariano Abarca travelled from Chiapas to Mexico City to present the report “Corruption, Murder and Canadian Mining in Mexico: The Case of Blackfire Exploration and the Canadian Embassy".

This information about actual cooperation in Mexico, of the Canadian Embassy, with the Canadian Mining Company Blackfire Exploration. This cooperation, according to the community that has opposed these negative practices, as well as their persistent anti workers union, favour repression.  "In late August, the family of murdered activist Mariano Abarca travelled from Chiapas to Mexico City to present the report “Corruption, Murder and Canadian Mining in Mexico: The Case of Blackfire Exploration and the Canadian Embassy.”  The family is clear in their accusation of the Canadian ambassador whose attitude they believe, contributed to Mr. Abarca's death.  Mexicans are protesting the behaviour of transnational mining companies (Canada has a key role on this!)

http://www.cipamericas.org/wpcontent/uploads/2013/09/995470_644388048919214_41901388_n.jpg  The view of a friendly Canada is no longer entertained in Latin America and other places in the world (See: by International Human Rights lawyer, Saranjeet Parmar, in The Toronto Star: "How to repair our international reputation" where this human rights international lawyer expects clear progress from the newly elected government)  http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/10/26/how-canada-can-repair-its-international-reputation.html 

Canadian governments have been requested for decades to impose in their international business, and specially mining enterprises, to maintain a code of conduct that would respect workers and nationals. (See presentation of Bill C-323 in Parliament in 2013: https://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-323/?tab=mentions )

Barrick Gold, a Canadian Company, is in trouble because of repeated anti-ecological practices: "Chile's environmental regulator SMA said on Wednesday it will seek new sanctions against Barrick Gold Corp's massive Pascua-Lama gold and silver project, further complicating the possibility that the suspended mine might resume construction.
The regulator already fined Barrick $16 million in May 2013 for not complying with some of the country's environmental requirements at Pascua-Lama, which was put on hold indefinitely in October 2013.
Inspections that took place between 2013 and 2015, some of which were scheduled and others triggered by complaints from the local community, had revealed ten new infractions, the SMA said. http://protestbarrick.net/article.php?id=1015

These practises are opposed by Chileans and Argentineans given the destruction and intoxications of the waters in those regions. Recently additional complains have been brought as in Pascua Lama, where Barricks has made major investments, one Glaciar has been transformed in a multipurpose garbage, preventing the water for human use, agriculture and animal use.

"Santiago 16 October 2015.- (Right) Secret images of landfills under glaciers that show the destruction of these water reserves, announced this morning Greenpeace. Garbage bags, galvanized iron pipes and large amounts of plastic materials can be seen in the leaked report by the environmental organization that was developed by the Center for Scientific Studies CECs for Barrick Gold. The research describes how glaciers that are in the area of ​​intervention of the Pascua Lama mining project , are converted into landfills."

These serious violations are not new. Barricks in Chile started large combined operations in the north on both sides of the Los Andes Mountain, leading to a protests from both Chilean and Argentinean communities affected by those projects. At the beginning of her first period of government, President Bachelet indicated that "as it was, the project will not be approved"... At the end of that government, Barrick Gold gave her a large dinner for influent people -at $500 a seat!- for the support Barricks had received in her Chilean operations! 

In Guatemala and the other Central America, these type of interactions with repression and destruction of the quality of life of communities are well known. Indigenous communities are the most affected." A piece of these repressive practices are mentioned in 
"On the same day that Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina announced a two-year moratorium on mining, human rights and environmental activist Santos Fidel Ajau Suret was gunned down after leaving the peaceful community roadblock known as La Puya. He was a 54-year-old community activist resisting the El Tambor mine."   (by Alexandra Pedersen, 15 July 2013  http://upsidedownworld.org/main/guatemala-archives-33/4377-guatemala-la-puyas-celebration-of-life-peace-and-defense-of-the-earth )

An interesting article gives the general picture for the region: 

"Canada is an important player in the global mining industry. Nearly a quarter of the top forty mining companies in the world are Canadian-owned and roughly 60% of the world's publicly traded mining companies are listed on Canadian stock exchanges, far more than any other stock exchange. In Latin America alone, a region that we have made an economic and foreign policy priority, Canadian financed companies hold about 1,400 metal mining properties from Mexico to Argentina."

"But companies don't just obtain financing in Canada. Canadian-financed companies, which dominate the mining sector in some countries - such as Guatemala or Ecuador – are able to sustain strong lobbies regarding mining policy changes, often receiving substantial support from Canadian embassies abroad". http://www.miningwatch.ca/article/corporate-rights-over-human-rights-canadian-mining-central-america

Canada, during the last electoral process two three parties (Liberal, New Democratic Party-NDP and the Green Party) put emphasis in reorienting the overseas practical terms, -and urgently. These considered the urgent establishment of ethical and humanitarian practices for Canada's investment and cooperation. Supporting and watching the newly elected government in these practices is important for all involved as well as by the Canadian public. Delivering on the promises is the most important contribution from Justin Trudeau, newly elected majority government.

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