By Brenda Norrell
Photo: Vancouver based Goldcorp’s open pit, cyanide-leaching gold mine, San Miguel Ixtahuacan and Sipakapa municipalities, San Marcos Department, Guatemala.
Canadian mining companies continue to rape and murder Indigenous Peoples around the world, while stealing their lands, poisoning their water and violating their human rights and civil rights. Canadian newspapers are finally beginning to report on the abuses.
Western Shoshone are fighting Barrick Gold to protect their homelands, including sacred Mount Tenabo, while Lakotas fight Cameco uranium mining in Nebraska. Canadian mining companies continue to violate Indigenous Peoples and their lands from Saskatchewan, Australia, New Guinea and Central Asia to Central America, South America and Africa.
This article in the Vancouver Sun should be followed by more in-depth investigative reporting from Canadian newspapers, including the widespread poisoning of First Nations lands in Canada. Canadian mining companies have targeted the most desperate peoples in the world, who often have no voice or means to fight back. The peoples of the world should not allow this to happen for one more day. --Censored News
The not-so-pretty face of gold
Canadian mining companies face criticism abroad as violence hits towns near their operations
By FIONA ANDERSON, Vancouver Sun
January 15, 2010
Complaints that British Columbia mining companies are wreaking environmental devastation and abusing human rights in countries where they are developing mines continue to surface. But local companies insist they are complying with all laws, and using the latest environmental advancements. While the truth continues to be disputed one thing is clear. Many communities are divided by the introduction of a mine in their midst.
In two recent cases, one involving a B.C. company, the division has been blamed for murder.
Mexican murder tied to Canadian company
Posted By CECILIA NASMITH
Seldom has a case had such clear-cut evidence -- documents detailing a company's bribery that the company admits are genuine.
Roseneath resident Rick Arnold, co-ordinator for Common Frontiers-Canada organization, is part of the team that hopes to bring the Blackfire Exploration Ltd. mining company officials to justice for the Mexican bribery case.
In another case, three men linked to the Canadian-and-Mexican-owned Blackfire company have been arrested for the murder of prominent Mexican anti-mining activist Mariano Abarca Roblero, who was shot to death in front of his home in November.
Abarca was a leader of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (the Spanish acronym is REMA) and one of the most important figures to denounce the negative social and environmental impacts of Blackfire's open-pit barite mine in Chiapas. Just days before his murder, he filed charges against two Blackfire employees for threatening to shoot him if he didn't stop organizing local farmers protesting the loss of their land and livelihood to the mine.
In a bid to control such public opposition, according to documents REMA recently filed with the Chiapas attorney general's office -- documents Blackfire admits are genuine -- payments of $1,000 a month US have been documented as going into the mayor's bank account.
Arnold, who represents one of four organizations working to press charges, listed several documents:
* In a two-page written summation from Blackfire to the Congress of Chiapas, they ask state authorities to crack down on the mayor, whom they had been paying for 14 months. "Their understanding is, the mayor would keep things in line, but the protests kept getting worse and worse. Blackfire is trying to say to the state officials, 'Look, we have been paying this mayor, and he's getting out of control with his requests, and he is not doing the sort of things he said he might be able to do. We want you to intervene, to put a stop to this. We did pay him off, but he's really crossed the line,'" Arnold said.
"The director-general of the Blackfire operations in Mexico is the author of this document. He says, in making these payments, 'The mayor told us that he would be in a position to keep the people from the local co-operatives from rising up in arms.'"
* A second document speaks to more recent Blackfire assertions that they really didn't understand that the money was directly lining the mayor's pockets. The spreadsheet lists 14 months of payments made directly to the mayor under the heading Bonuses.
* There are five copies of the bank transfer monthly payments of $1,000 going from the numbered account of Blackfire to the numbered account of the mayor.
The only current legislation under which they can proceed is the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (1998, c. 34)
Protest Barrick Gold website
Read more about Barrick Gold's abuses of Indigenous Peoples around the world: