Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa – www.ipsmo.org

May 5, 2010

Community & Indigenous Resistance to Harmful Gold Mining in Guatemala & Honduras

UPDATES – May 13, 2010

Special thanks to Tito Medina for bringing music to this talk (click here to see Tito’s performance) and Ramsey Hart for translating our speakers’ presentations from Spanish to English.  Also joining us in this talk were Francois Guindon from NISGUA and Feliciano Orellana, a former employee of Goldcorp subsidiary Entre Mares working in the Cerro Blanco Mine, Goldcorp’s second large mine in Guatemala.

Carlos Amador:
Another world is possible only if we work together
Borders are dividing us … Conscious men and women shouldn’t let borders divide us …
Borders are for Capitalism

Highlights:

  • Canadian government is pressuring the new Honduran government following the coup to open its arms more widely to the investments of Canadian mining companies
  • The current prime minister of Canada is a big friend of the mining companies
  • With the opening of new investments in mining, we are facing a new form of colonization
  • 90 mining concessions in 80 counties (in Honduras) are owned by Canadian mining companies
  • Canadian Pension Plan has $500 million dollars invested in Goldcorp Inc.
  • Our problems are your problems … we have the moral and ethical obligations to fight for the dignity of people, therefore we should unite ourselves
  • Public funds from Canada are going towards companies that are damaging human rights, are violating the fundamental right, that is right to life, for instance, in Guatemala
  • Near Marlin mine in Guatemala 120 homes have been damaged because of the effects of explosion used to blast the rocks out of the pit, 80 streams have dried out, the river below the mine is contaminated …
  • When a mining company arrives, it often creates conflict, divides communities, tears apart the social fabrics that tie people together
  • Over 1 million people in 42 different communities across the country (Guatemala) don’t want mining in their territories
  • In the area of Marlin mine (Guatemala), 24 communities have sent a clear message that they don’t want the activities of Goldcorp to continue
  • The ILO (International Labour Organization) said all mining operations in Guatemala should be suspended because the mining companies have violated the right to free, prior, informed consent of Indigenous communities.

What to do:

Write to Canadian Pension Plan, one of Goldcorp’s investors, to stop investing in Goldcrop and REALLY exercise socially responsible investing:

Canada Pension Plan
John H Butler, 416 868-1171, One Queen St. East, Suite 2600, Toronto ON, M5C-2W5 — $349,000,000 of shares in Goldcorp as of March 2010
CANADA PENSION PLAN Investment Board: csr@cppib.ca, 416-868-4075, Toll Free: 1-866-557-9510;
Manuel Pedrosa, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, 416-868-4682, mpedrosa@cppib.ca

Photos & Videos:

Video – Javier de Leon – Resistance to Harmful Gold Mining in Guatemala
JAVIER de LEON is a Mayan Mam community leader from the village of Maquivil, municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacan, department of San Marcos. From his small home, he looks across at Goldcorp’s ever expanding open-pit, cyanide-leaching gold mine – the “Marlin” mine. Since 2004, Javier has been educating and organizing Mayan Mam communities and working to resist and demand justice for the health and environmental harms and human rights violations caused by Goldcorp’s mine.

Javier de Leon & Ramsey Hart

CALL FOR SUSPENSION OF MINING OPERATIONS IN GUATEMALA
THE ILO (International Labour Organization, of the United Nations), CALLS ON THE GUATEMALAN GOVERNMENT TO SUSPEND ALL MINING OPERATIONS IN INDIGENOUS MAYAN TERRITORIES

Video – Carlos Amador – Community Resistance to Harmful Gold Mining in Honduras
CARLOS AMADOR is a teacher and community leader in El Porvenir, 15 kilometres from Goldcorp’s open-pit, cyanide-leaching gold mine – the “San Martin” mine. Since 2000, Carlos has been educating and organizing local communities in the Siria Valley, and working to resist and demand justice for the health and environmental harms and human rights violations caused by Goldcorp’s mine.

Carlos Amador

THREATS AGAINST CARLOS AMADOR, MEMBER OF THE SIRIA VALLEY ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE, WHICH HAS OPPOSED GOLDCORP GOLD MINING IN HONDURAS SINCE 2000

Video – Feliciano Orellana (only the first half of Feliciano’s talk was filmed … my camera stopped working after the first half.)
Feliciano Orellana is a representative of the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Franciscan Family, in the Department of Jutiapa in eastern Guatemala. Employed by Goldcorp subsidiary Entre Mares in 1997 as one of the first employee, he later got hired in 2008 and suffered an almost Fatal accident on the job, for which he received no compensation. Now Feliciano is an active leader in his community and wants to share his experience on Goldcorp Human Rights Violations and the communities’ opposition to the Cerro Blanco Mine, Goldcorp’ second large mine in Guatemala.

Francois Guindon & Feliciano Orellana

Related to this topic:

Allan Lissner – Someone Else’s Treasure – Guatemala
CTV’s “W5” program: “ARE CANADIAN MINING COMPANIES GIVING US A BAD REPUTATION ABROAD?”  In it, W5 focuses critical attention on the harmful impacts of Goldcorp Inc’s gold mine in Mayan Mam communities, and HudBay Mineral’s nickel mine in Mayan Qeqchi communities.
Birarpatch Magazine – May/June 2010: Canada and the World
Publication from International Women and Mining Network – Defending Land, Life & Dignity, WOMEN FROM MINING AFFECTED COMMUNITIES SPEAK OUT
From Upsidedownworld.org – Scientists Find Elevated Levels of Potentially Toxic Metals in Some Guatemalans Living Near Goldcorp-owned Mine

The famous Marlin Mine located in municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacan, department of San Marcos, Guatemala

RIGHTS ACTION SPEAKING TOUR –

COMMUNITY & INDIGENOUS RESISTANCE TO HARMFUL GOLD MINING IN GUATEMALA & HONDURAS

DATE: Thursday, May 13, 2010
TIME: 7:00 pm
WHERE: JK Wylie Boardroom, PSAC Building, 233 Gilmour St., Ottawa, Algonquin Territory

FEATURING SPEAKERS:
Javier de Leon, from Guatemala;
Carlos Amador, from Honduras;
Karen Spring, Canadian with Rights Action in Guatemala-Honduras.

JAVIER de LEON: Javier is a Mayan Mam community leader from the village of Maquivil, municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacan, department of San Marcos. From his small home, he looks across at Goldcorp’s ever expanding open-pit, cyanide-leaching gold mine – the “Marlin” mine. Since 2004, Javier has been educating and organizing Mayan Mam communities and working to resist and demand justice for the health and environmental harms and human rights violations caused by Goldcorp’s mine.

CARLOS AMADOR: Carlos is a teacher and community leader in El Porvenir, 15 kilometres from Goldcorp’s open-pit, cyanide-leaching gold mine – the “San Martin” mine. Since 2000, Carlos has been educating and organizing local communities in the Siria Valley, and working to resist and demand justice for the health and environmental harms and human rights violations caused by Goldcorp’s mine.

KAREN SPRING: Karen is from Ontario, Canada. With Rights Action since early 2009, she lives and works in Honduras and Guatemala.

RESISTANCE TO HARMFUL MINING:

Since 2000, Rights Action has been supporting and involved with struggles related to Goldcorp Inc’s open-pit, cyanide-bonding mines in Honduras and Guatemala, and related to HudBay Mineral’s nickel mine (formerly owned by INCO and then Skye Resources) in Guatemala. (At http://www.rightsaction.org, there is extensive information about health and environmental harms and human rights violations linked to these mines and companies.)

The speakers will give first hand testimony, and show photos and documentary films, of the environmental and health harms and human rights violations caused directly and indirectly by Goldcorp’s mines in Guatemala and Honduras. With Karen as a co-speaker, they will focus critical attention on Canadian government, corporate and investor policies, as build up to Goldcorp’s annual shareholder meeting in Toronto, on May 19th.

DONATIONS TO SUPPORT GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT IN HONDURAS AND GUATEMALA

We will also accept donations at this event and contribute the funds towards the over-all costs of having the speakers from Honduras and Guatemala to come to Canada. All profits from this fund raising will go to the community based organizations that Rights Action supports and works with in Honduras and Guatemala.

** This event is supported by:

Tailings Pond next to Marlin Mine

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN),
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO),
Ontario Public Interest Research Group – University of Ottawa (OPIRG-Ottawa)
Territorio Libre
Public Services Alliance Canada National Solidarity Fund
MiningWatch Canada

and The Ottawa-Gatineau Coalition against Gold Mining in El Salvador:
Amanecer Ranchero FM 89.1
Amnesty International, Business and Human Rights Program
Breaking the Silence
Christian Hispanic Community of Emmanuel United Church
Committee for Human Rights in Latin America (CDHAL)
Emmanuel United Church
FMLN Ottawa-Gatineau
Magazine Vision Latina
MiningWatch Canada
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Social Justice Fund
Rights Action
Salvadorian Canadian Association of Ottawa and National Capital Region (ASCORCAN)
Salvadorian Women’s Committee of Ottawa-Gatineau
Salvaide
School of Political Studies of the University of Ottawa
Territorio Libre

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