Tag Archives: canadian mining company

Indigenous Guatemalans bring Canadian mining company to court

By Arij Riahi, 20 October 2013. Source: The Dominion

Guatemalan fist(Image: Guatemalan fist via Shutterstock)

Montreal - For the first time, a Canadian mining company will appear in a Canadian court for actions committed overseas. Hudbay Minerals, Inc, will be standing trial for murder, rapes and attacks committed against Indigenous Guatemalans by security personnel working for Hudbay’s subsidiary, Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN). The court case is proceeding thanks to a precedent-setting decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which ruled this past July in favour of the Mayan Q’eqchi’ people of Lote Ocho, near El Estor, Guatemala.

“It is a massive victory for our clients and for human rights,” Cory Wanless, an attorney with the Toronto-based Klippensteins law firm, told The Dominion. “Before this decision, no claim brought by individuals that had been harmed by Canadian mining abroad had ever gotten into Canadian courts at all. They didn’t even have the ability to forward their claims.”

Wanless represents the Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing the company of negligence in its ground management of the Fenix open-pit nickel mine project. They allege that security personnel—under the control of Hudbay—gang-raped 11 women, shot dead an Indigenous leader and outspoken critic of mining practices and left another man paralyzed from the chest down after sustaining a gunshot wound.

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Take Action: Tell Guatemala to Halt Mining Projects

Please join the Guatemala Human Rights Commission and the Center for International Environmental Law in telling the Guatemalan authorities to halt the extraction license of Canadian company Tahoe Resources.

Local communities have expressed opposition to the project, and there are over 200 pending complaints lodged in the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Recent violence has also increased tension and fear in the area. Despite this, the company continues to push the government to grant the mining license.

You can sign the petition here.

Pro-Consulta Demonstration in San Rafael Las Flores“The mine doesn’t pass” Photo:mimundo.org

Just over a year ago CIEL asked for help to protect the wellbeing of communities in San Rafael Las Flores, Guatemala, by contacting the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to halt the licensing of a silver mining project owned by the Canadian company Tahoe Resources (40% owned by Goldcorp).

Today, we ask for your help again. Under its international human rights obligations, Guatemala must consult populations that could be affected by a mining project, and further requires the consent of affected indigenous peoples.

Not only were communities near the Tahoe project not consulted – including a community of indigenous Xinka peoples – but public referenda have shown that neighboring communities are opposed to the development of the mine. Seventeen local development councils and community mayors sent a letter to MEM last December requesting the refusal of the extraction license.

Many of those living close to the mine worry that its operations could pollute the water upon which their livelihoods depend. Currently, there are over 200 pending complaints against the project, each of which, according to Guatemalan law, must be resolved by MEM before granting a license.

IMG_5188The communities of San Rafael remain as committed as ever in their non-violent opposition to the mine, though they have become the target of increasing intimidation and criminalization.

Their organizing occurs in a context of escalating violence and insecurity. On January 11th, 2013, violence once again erupted in the area near the Tahoe mine site resulting in the death of three people, including two members of the company’s private security group. There is an ongoing investigation into these events to identify the responsible parties and motive.

As part of its response to the violence, Tahoe Resources publicly reiterated its confidence that the license will be granted, stating “[t]he Guatemalan President and the [MEM] have reassured us that the license is forthcoming.”

To show your support for the communities opposing the Tahoe mine, please sign the petition here.

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Peasants protest Canadian mining project in Peru

January 23 2013. Source: Latin American Herald Tribune

Photo: EFE

Photo: EFE

LIMA – More than 200 peasants staged a protest against Canadian mining firm Candente Copper and blocked roadways in Cañaris, a district in northern Peru, to demand that the company cease activities in the zone, police said.

A group of residents of Cañaris on Monday blocked the access road to the Cañariaco camp, where Candente Copper is making surveys to determine the copper and gold reserves in the area, while another group marched to the company’s facilities to hold a protest vigil.

Officials sent 300 police officers to Cañaris to prevent disorder in the vicinity of the mining camp, the head of the Territorial Police Directorate for the Lambayeque region, Jorge Linares, told the official Andina news agency.

Candente Copper is scheduled to invest $1.5 billion in the development of the Cañarico mine to produce 262 million pounds of copper annually, as well as smaller quantities of gold and silver, over a period of 22 years.

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No silver medal: Mexican farmers battle Canadian mine for control of their land

By , August 17, 2012. Source: Waging Nonviolence

Excellon Resources ‘La Platosa Mine’, Durango, Mexico. Photos by author.

Civil disobedience has halted production at Mexico’s “top grade producer of silver.” Farmers of the La Sierrita village, a close knit community of about 50 families, located 40 minutes north of the city of Gomez Palacio, Durango, have shut down the La Platosa mine owned by Canadian firm Excellon Resources for over a month.

This comes in response to the company’s refusal to negotiate with the community over its requests for the preferential hiring of local people on whose land the company operates, as well as pay the rental rates for its use. Labor conditions within the underground mine where many local residents work is also an issue. Dozens of community members have maintained a nonviolent blockade of the one road into the mine, allowing only essential maintenance workers to pass, resulting in extraction grinding to a halt.

In recent years mining operations have drawn local protests from Peru to Tanzania and Papua New Guinea. Mexico is the site of several high profile struggles, nearly all involving Canadian companies. Communities are opposing the loss of their land and its contamination with toxins, including arsenic and cyanide, which are used in abundance in the extraction of gold.

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Native Canadians fear mining boom in “Ring of Fire”

By Fawzia Sheikh. Source: IPS

TORONTO, Jul 30 2012 (IPS) – With accusations that Canadian resource companies and government officials are disregarding the need for indigenous consent in development projects, First Nations leaders have lashed out by approving a resolution calling for a moratorium on mining development in the so-called Ring of Fire until proper consultation begins.

Private-sector estimates suggest the combined value of chromite and nickel in the north is approximately 60 billion dollars. Credit: Lazurite/CC BY 2.0

Private-sector estimates suggest the combined value of chromite and nickel in the north is approximately 60 billion dollars. Photo: Lazurite/CC BY 2.0

The Ring of Fire includes chromite, nickel, copper, platinum, zinc, gold and kimberlite deposits and is touted as the most promising mineral development opportunity in Ontario in nearly a century.

The resources are located 540 kilometres east of the city of Thunder Bay within the shared territories of a handful of Aboriginal communities around McFaulds Lake. The region is home to more than 100 bodies of water and four major rivers in the James Bay Lowlands in the northern part of the province.

“We haven’t had any meeting that is meaningful with the province,” Chris Moonias of the Neskantaga First Nation told 633 chiefs-in-assembly at the Assembly of First Nations annual conference from Jul. 17 to 19. “Right now, we’re being bullied by a mining company, a giant mining company and a desperate province.”
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Bolivia: Government, indigenous communities resolve to nationalise Canadian mining company

Cross-Posted from Bolivia Rising

La Paz, July 10 (ABI) President Evo Morales applauded on Tuesday the agreement struck with indigenous peoples from the mining town of Mallku Khota, in the north of Potosi, because it assures the state will be able to continue recovering natural resources to benefit the Bolivian people

The head of state met with leaders from the ayllus in this region that were demanding the annulment of the concession granted to the Canadian company South American Silver (SAS).

The agreement states that the mine will be nationalised via a Supreme Decree.

“These natural resources belong to the state, and therefore to the Bolivian people, which is why the national government should carry out the process of exploitation and exploration, with the participation of the indigenous communities in this zone; that is what we have agreed upon,” said the head of state.

Morales lamented that confrontations had taken place between different indigenous community groups, with one side in support of the mining activities of the Canadian company, and considered that this confrontation was provoked by the transnational company.

“Here there has been a problem – unfortunately the so-called transnational companies are like that – these companies pit brothers, in-laws, cousins, neighbours – brothers from the same ayllu – against one another, I also want to recognise that I too am responsible having not seen what was occurring,” he said.

Within this framework, he recalled the conflicts that were generated during the colonial era in order to facilitate the exploitation of natural resources.

“We have to remember our history, our grandparents who before the foundation of the republic gave their lives, gave their time for the lives of others, for the homeland and Mother Earth which is natural resources”, he argued.

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