Posts Tagged 'Peru'

Global Assault on Seed Sovereignty.

Global Assault on Seed Sovereignty through Trade Deals Is Assault on Human Rights, Protest is Fertile

The multinational seed industry is continuing its multipronged attack on the most basic of human rights, the access to seed. Lobbyists of the seed industry are using trade agreements to pressure nations into adopting strict measures such as UPOV agreements that ensure the protection and ownership of new plant varieties for plant breeders. On top of this, corporate seed industry lobbyists are proposing revisions to the UPOV convention that promote further monopolisation of the seed industry through ‘harmonisation’ of procedures for registering and testing new plant varieties.

Protests in many regions around the world are putting up much needed resistance against this corporate takeover of the food system, successfully forcing governments to delay and even repeal the agreements. These movements are an inspiration for our continual global struggle against the relentless onslaught of agribusiness whose current biggest targets are the ‘untapped’ markets of the global South, with the spotlight on Africa and other regions where seeds have not yet been commercialized, and are still used in traditional systems that allow seed saving and exchange.

What is UPOV?

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants or UPOV is a Geneva-based intergovernmental union so far of around 70 countries that accept common rules for recognizing and protecting the ownership of new plant varieties by plant breeders. First established in 1961, the convention entered into force in 1968 and was revised in 1972, 1978 and 1991. The latest version, UPOV-91 significantly increases the protection of plant breeders, handing over monopoly of seed rights, and even making it illegal for the farmer to save and exchange seeds for replanting.  See [1] The Corporate Takeover of Seed under Many GuisesSiS 64, for more details.

UPOV builds on the World Trade Organisation’s agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that was adopted in 1994 as the first international treaty to establish global standards for intellectual property rights over seeds. This has allowed corporations to force the “harmonisation” of patent laws across countries, ostensibly to create a unified global intellectual property regime with minimum standards and establish a dispute settle system to ensure its application and compliance.

Today all member countries are part of the 1978 or 1991 Act. Back in 1998, there were only 37 countries in UPOV, the majority industrialised. With recent international trade agreements however, the global South have been pressured to join, being told that intellectual property protection benefits the biotechnology industry and hence the national economy as well as food security. These claims are unfounded, and in fact untrue; UPOV works to increase the profit of multinational corporations in the North, and is proving to be a threat to food security especially for people in the South.

Proposed ‘harmonisation’ of UPOV system further erodes seed sovereignty

In the 88th meeting of the Consultative Committee (CC) of UPOV on 15 October 2014 in Geneva, lobby organisations representing the corporate seed industry pushed for further ‘harmonisation’ of the UPOV plant breeders system [2]. Their proposals include an international filing system,  a UPOV quality assurance program and a central examination system for variety denominations, disguised as an “international system of cooperation” that would actually provide further protection to breeders with regards to filing and examination of new varieties in destination countries. In reality, these changes would increase patenting and biopiracy by commercial plant breeders, while placing the costs of the new system on individual nations and not the corporations commercialising the seed variety.

The International Seed Federation, the International Community of Breeders of Asexually Ornamental Fruit Plants (CIOPORA) and CropLife International, represent corporations that include Monsanto, DowAgroSciences, Syngenta, Bayer, and DuPont Pioneer, which together already control 75 % of private sector plant breeding research and 60 % of the commercial seed market. The new proposals would further increase the monopoly. These pro-industry organisations proposed an international filing system of cooperation (IFC) for registering a plant variety that would use a single application form in the language of choice of the breeder and submitted to the destination country for planting the seeds. The IFC would then be involved in distributing processed applications to target countries. This, they suggested would result in more applications by breeders for more crops, in more regions and countries. One of the most dangerous aspects of the proposals is that such applications would be confidential with regards to the pedigree and parental lines of hybrids, thereby greatly facilitating biopiracy.  A preliminary review of the IFC would be sent to the destination country for DUS (Distinct, Uniform and Stable) testing, all at the expense of the destination country, which the lobbyists proposed, should take place in centralised “centres of excellence” that would need to be developed. Breeders would send plant materials and fees for DUS testing to the centres of their choice, likely leaving governments without access to the plant material. The industry lobbyists further propose that the IFC should force UPOV member countries to implement these procedures themselves. These changes will compromise the right of UPOV member states to control the processing and examination of plant variety protection applications, and hence their national right to control their own food system in accordance with local climactic and ecological conditions that can decide the success or failure of a crop.

The proposed changes, such as the potential to increase the number of crop varieties, do not necessarily translate to lower food prices or higher food production. It does however impact small-scale farmers who rely on informal seed saving and swapping systems, a common practice in most developing nations, pushing up the price of seed and affecting livelihoods and food access in the process.

The seed industry claims that such proposals would benefit small and medium scale farmers, though as shown in the case of the EU Community Plant Variety Rights (CPVR), which was the premise for these new changes, it increased the share of breeder’s rights for large corporations.   The CPVR, based on UPOV-91, gives sweeping intellectual property (IP) rights protection valid throughout the EU territory via a single protection title obtained in any EU country. Data from a 2011 Greens/EFA Group in the EU Parliament show that this system overwhelmingly benefits large-scale breeders such as multinational corporations, with the top five seed companies applying for 91 % of intellectual property right protection. Monsanto and Syngenta were responsible for 57 % of plant protection rights applications for tomatoes in 2011, compared to 12 % in 2000. Further, most applications come from just a few EU countries, mainly Germany, The Netherlands and France, suggesting that few countries are benefitting from this system. The European Patent Office has already gone so far as granting patents on over a hundred conventionally bred varieties, such as broccoli bred to have a large head to facilitate mechanical harvesting (EP 1597965), and fungus-resistant tomatoes. Thanks to work by the large coalition of organisations behind No Patents on Seeds, the tomato patent (EP1812575) of Monsanto has now been revoked, on grounds of fraudulent abuse of the seed laws in claiming as invention an already existing natural variety of tomato [3].

International trade agreements force seed privatisation, destroy livelihoods and enslave people

The first globalisation of the seed/food market came with European colonialism. Colonising countries forced local farmers in many nations to give up their local food production for plantations, to be replaced by enslaved and indentured labour to grow luxury crops for export back to their countries. Today, the philosophy of food production underlying the new international trade agreements align with the colonial way of thinking – that food should be produced for international export to the financial benefit of powerful corporations and nations – in a direct assault on people’s sovereignty over their natural resources, farming systems and food access as well as their human right to dignified living standards free of exploitation and dependence.

One of the first international trade agreements negotiated outside the multilateral arena that incorporated seed privatisation policies was the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico in 1994. The NAFTA agreement set a precedent for all US trade deals to follow, with the EU also following suit with its own similar trade agreements so they too, would not lose out in the Mexican market. NAFTA obliged Mexico to join UPOV. Not only did the agreement directly restrict seed saving in Mexico through UPOV, but it also undermined their agricultural industry through other mechanisms including the dumping of staple crops at below production costs to Mexico. The US subsidises farmers for many overproduced stable crops which are then sold so cheaply that they undermine local agriculture, destroying farmers’ livelihoods and local peoples’ access to food. The dumping of US staple crops (corn, soy, wheat, cotton) and meat wiped an estimated 12.8 billion US dollars off the Mexican producers’ earnings during 1997-2005 [4]. Corn, in particular, originated in Central America and was considered sacred by the Mayan people and others. Another pre-condition of NAFTA was the liberalisation of the communally owned ‘ejido’ land system. Under 1991 reforms, the constitutional right to ejidos was eliminated, though already existing ejidos were allowed to remain under community control [5].  These policy changes seriously damaged the Mexican food system originally focused on local consumption and replaced it with an export-orientated fiefdom of the US. Food imports in Mexico have gone up from 16 % before NAFTA to 42 % in 2014 [4]. While the US exports its overproduced staples, it imports much of its fresh produce from Mexico.

Horrendous work conditions are endured by employees of huge mega farms that supply blemish-free, immaculate produce to the US, highlighting the real impacts of these trade agreements on peoples’ lives. A recent report by Richard Marosi and Don Bartletti for the LA Times reveals a land of mono-cropped fields, devoid of people and filled with billboards for agribusiness in these poor, rural indigenous areas of the country [6]. Following an 18 month investigation, they found that many farm labourers work 6 days a week for 8-12 US dollars a week; often trapped for months in rat-infested camps without reliable water supply and clean toilets. Many have had their wages withheld for months to prevent them leaving at peak harvest time; they face threats of violence, and can head home at the end of the week penniless after getting past the barbed wire fences designed to keep them inside working.

Mexico and the 11 other members of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and of course, the US) are now facing even more extreme attacks on their agricultural industry. The TTP is being dubbed one of the most ambitious trade agreements in history, and also one of the most dangerous not least because of the secrecy surrounding the negotiations.  Details of negotiations have come mostly through leaks. Some of the negotiation text from May 2014 called for all member states to adopt UPOV-91 and the outright patenting of plants and animals [7]. Many agreements also come with severe punishments for farmers who break the IP laws. It will also undermine local agriculture as seen with NAFTA, where harmonisation of trade policies will pit farmers from different regions against each other, forcing for example the Mexican coffee farmers to compete with Vietnamese coffee farmers. The existing communal ejido land is proposed to be under a fast-track system for privatisation. TTP will also prohibit labelling of genetically modified (GM) foods, so countries with existing labelling laws such as Japan would have to reverse their policies.

In 2006, the US closed big deals with Colombia and Peru that included the adoption of UPOV-91, as well as with all Central American countries through other agreements. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) made similar agreements with Colombia and Peru in 2008 and with Central American countries in 2013 (see [8] for in depth report). The Caribbean states currently have an agreement to consider adopting UPOV-91, though only one nation Trinidad and Tobago has signed up. The Americas have been where agribusiness made their largest gains in recent years, but now Africa is the new target.  African countries and the EU recently finished talks that contain a commitment to negotiate common IP standards expected to lead to UPOV commitments. The G8 New Alliance has also pushed for over 200 policy changes in participating African countries to open up their seed markets, with Ghana fighting vigorously to prevent their politicians from passing the new plant breeder’s bill that includes UPOV-91 (see [1]).

In Asia, Sri Lanka is proposing a new Seed Act that would require farmers to register and certify all seed and planting material in the country. This has led to large campaigns by organisations such as the Movement of Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) to prevent it coming into force. Elsewhere, other nations such as Canada are facing similar battles, where Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act that includes UPOV-91, was passed in November 2014. The National Farmers Union are deeply concerned over the bill [9]; the President of the Union Jan Slomp called it “one of the most farmer unfriendly mechanisms we have ever seen”, while the Vice-President Anne Slater stated: “This legislation makes it possible for seed companies to collect End-Point Royalties on a farmer’s entire crop. It also gives seed companies the possibility to create monopolies to control future breeding by others through the Act’s ‘essentially derived’ clause, which gives breeders full control of any new varieties that exhibit characteristics of a company’s already-protected variety.”

Thankfully many nations have seen successful protests hinder the free trade agreements and seed privatisation policies. Guatemala repealed the ‘Monsanto Law’ this year after it failed to meet the requirements of consulting indigenous communities, resulting in a 10-day protest. The “Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties” was highly unpopular with civil societies and indigenous communities that would prevent them from saving seeds. Colombia has temporarily suspended its deals to adopt UPOV-91, also as a result of large scale protests. We need to build on the successes of these movements and comprehensively reject UPOV 91 if we are to protect the sovereignty of the seed.

Pronunciamiento de la cátedra “Tata Juan Chávez Alonso”.

inicio

A los pueblos y gobiernos del mundo.

A la Sexta Nacional e Internacional.

A las alumnas y alumnos de la Escuelita Zapatista.

Así como es en el tiempo y en nuestra historia con la madre tierra; los pueblos, naciones y tribus indígenas Yaqui, Mayo, Náyeri, Wixárika, Rarámuri, Odam, Nahua, Purépecha, Nañu o Ñuhu, Mazahua, Popoluca, Tzotzil, Chol, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Zoque, Totonaco, Coca, Mame, Binnizá, Chinanteco, Ikoot, Mazateco, Chontal, Ñu Saavi, Chatino, Triqui, Afromestizo, Mehpa, Nancue Ñomndaa, Ñhato y Maya Peninsular de los estados de Sonora, Chihuahua, Veracruz, Durango, Nayarit, Jalisco, Michoacán, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Morelos, Estado de México, Guerrero, Distrito Federal, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Yucatán y Campeche; así como los pueblos  Ixil, Quiche, Quechua y Nasa de los países de Guatemala, Peru y Colombia que hemos caminado juntos y atentos, como hijos todos y todas de la madre tierra, nos encontramos y nos reconocimos los días 17 y 18 de agosto de 2013 en San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, en las instalaciones de CIDECI-Unitierra, para recordar y actuar consecuentemente con la palabra viva de nuestro hermano mayor Tata Juan Chávez Alonso quien nos enseña, nos guía y cuya memoria a un año de su ausencia  se convierte en esperanza y fuerza para los pueblos que nos refundamos y reconstituimos porque hemos decidido seguir siendo los indios que somos, seguir hablando la lengua que nos hablamos, seguir defendiendo el territorio que vivimos.

Nos reconocemos en la lucha por el respeto a nuestro modo de vida ancestral, lucha que emprendimos juntos y en la que hemos hablado, hemos exigido y hemos sido reiteradamente traicionados por los malos gobiernos.

Hemos aprendido en este camino de lucha que los poderosos no tienen respeto por la palabra, la traicionan y violentan una y otra vez a lo largo y ancho de este país que se llama México, desde el desconocimiento a los Acuerdos de San Andrés Sakamchén de los Pobres, la contra reforma indígena del 2001 y las innumerables traiciones a nuestros pueblos de las diversas regiones y luchas en un México indio que se encuentra vivo, de pié  y con un solo corazón que se hace grande, tan grande como es el dolor que sufrimos y como la esperanza que luchamos, pues, a pesar de la guerra de exterminio que se ha vuelto más violenta que nunca aquí estamos.

Nos reconocemos en el camino de nuestra historia y nuestros antepasados que son presente, futuro y espejo de la autonomía ejercida en los hechos, como única vía del porvenir de nuestra existencia y que se vuelve nuestra vida comunitaria, asambleas, prácticas espirituales, culturales, autodefensa y seguridad, proyectos educativos y de comunicación propias, reivindicaciones culturales y territoriales en las ciudades por los pueblos desplazados o invadidos con una memoria histórica viva.

Somos los indios que somos, decididos a reconstituirnos en otro mundo posible.

Ese espejo profundo, antiguo y nuevo son las luchas que somos y por las que nos pronunciamos con un solo corazón y una sola palabra.

1. Exigimos la inmediata liberación de los presos políticos en nuestro país, particularmente la de nuestro compañero indígena Totzil Alberto Patishtán que lleva 13 años preso injustamente purgando una ilegal sentencia  de 60 años. Asimismo exigimos la libertad de nuestros seis hermanos Nahuas de la comunidad de San Pedro Tlanixco, presos injustamente desde hace 10 años en el penal de Almoloya  por defender el agua de su comunidad. Se trata de nuestros hermanos Pedro Sánchez, con una sentencia de 52 años, Teófilo Pérez, con una sentencia de 50 años, Rómulo Arias, con una sentencia de 54 años y de los compañeros Marco Antonio Pérez, Lorenzo  Sánchez y Dominga González quienes actualmente están siendo procesados; igualmente exigimos la cancelación de las órdenes de aprehensión en contra de Rey Perez Martinez y Santos Alejandro Álvarez, también de Tlanixco; la libertad de los compañeros presos de la comunidad tzeltal de Bachajón, Chiapas, Miguel de Meza Jiménez y Antonio Estrada Estrada; de los compañeros Loxichas Eleuterio Hernández García, Justino Hernández José, Zacarías Pascual García López, Abraham García Ramírez, Fortino Enríquez Hernández, Agustín Luna Valencia y Alvaro Sebastián Ramírez, presos en el CEFERESO número seis de Huimanguillo, Tabasco; así como de Pablo López Álvarez de San Isidro Aloapan, Oaxaca, preso en el penal de Villa de Etla.

2. Denunciamos que los malos gobiernos y las empresas trasnacionales se han valido de grupos paramilitares para imponer megaproyectos extractivos mediante la explotación ilegal de minerales y maderas preciosas, particularmente en la costa Nahua y la meseta purépecha de Michoacán y la comunidad nahua de Ayotitlán, en la sierra de Manantlán, Jalisco

3. Demandamos justicia para la comunidad nahua  de Santa María Ostula, en la Costa de Michoacán, donde los malos gobiernos, coludidos con los cárteles del narcotráfico, han protegido el despojo de las tierras ancestrales de la comunidad, el saqueo de recursos naturales por grupos de la delincuencia organizada y la sangrienta represión a la organización comunal que ha derivado en asesinatos y desapariciones.

 4. Saludamos la lucha histórica de la comunidad de Cherán, Michoacán y el digno ejercicio del derecho de autodefensa que  ha florecido en el pueblo Purépecha en defensa de su propia vida, sus familias, su cultura y territorio, amenazado por la complicidad de los malos gobiernos con grupos paramilitares y narco paramilitares, siendo sus exigencias la seguridad, justicia y reconstitución del territorio.

 5. Así también saludamos la defensa digna que las comunidades y barrios indígenas vienen haciendo de los saberes tradicionales y del cultivo de maíz nativo.

 6. Repudiamos la represión al pueblo Ikoot de San Mateo del Mar y San Dionisio del Mar, así como al pueblo binniza de Juchitán y la colonia Álvaro Obregón; exigimos la liberación inmediata de Alejandro Regalado Jiménez y Arquímedes Jiménez Luis, así como la inmediata cancelación de los corredores eólicos a manos de las empresas españolas Endesa, Iberdrola, Gamesa y Unión Fenosa que en la región del Istmo invaden y destruyen las tierras comunales y los sitios sagrados de los pueblos arriba mencionados.

 7. Exigimos que se detenga la represión contra la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla del Estado de México, así como la cancelación definitiva del proyecto carretero denominado autopista privada Toluca-Naucalpan, igualmente apoyamos la solicitud de medidas cautelares ante el Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos para los habitantes de dicha comunidad.

 8. Exigimos al mal gobierno federal que cumpla con la cancelación de la construcción del Acueducto Independencia que pretende despojar a la Tribu Yaqui del agua que históricamente ha defendido en el rio Yaqui, reiterando nuestra palabra de que actuaremos en consecuencia ante cualquier intento de represión al campamento en resistencia que se mantiene en la carretera internacional a la altura de Vícam, primera cabecera de la Tribu Yaqui.

 9. Exigimos el cese de la represión y el retiro de la fuerza pública de la comunidad de Huexca, Morelos, por la construcción de una termoeléctrica; la cancelación del acueducto y la extracción del agua del río Cuautla, pues, afectará a 22 ejidos del municipio de Ayala, así mismo  el cese al hostigamiento contra 60 comunidades de Morelos, Puebla y Tlaxcala que pretenden ser despojados por la instalación de un gasoducto, todo esto como parte del Proyecto Integral Morelos, que pretende destruir la vida campesina de estos territorios para convertirlos en industrias y autopistas y exigimos el respeto al guardián sagrado: volcán Popocatépetl, igualmente depredado por la inmoderada tala clandestina de sus bosques.

 10. Nos solidarizamos con la lucha de la comunidad Coca de Mezcala, en Jalisco, por la recuperación de su territorio y exigimos la cancelación de las órdenes de aprehensión vigentes en contra de comuneros cuyo delito ha sido defender su tierra.

 11. Exigimos el respeto al territorio comunal y a la asamblea general de comuneros de Tepoztlán, sumándonos a la exigencia de la cancelación de la autopista La Pera-Cuautla, asimismo rechazamos la campaña de mentiras y engaños a la opinión pública por parte del gobierno de Morelos para justificar el despojo.

 12. Advertimos que existe un ataque sin precedentes a los pilares sagrados del mundo reconocidos y sostenidos por los pueblos originarios y que con certeza defienden a nombre de la vida en el Universo, como son los  territorios sagrados de Wirikuta y Hara Mara en los estados de San Luis Potosí y Nayarit, amenazadas por proyectos capitalistas mineros y turísticos con la complicidad de los malos gobiernos nacionales y estatales, asimismo hacemos nuestra la exigencia de cancelación de la totalidad de las concesiones mineras y turísticas en dichos territorios y en la totalidad de los territorios indígenas. Repudiamos la campaña de confrontación que han llevado a cabo la minera First Majestic Silver y el mal gobierno municipal de Catorce, San Luis Potosí. Saludamos  al pueblo digno campesino de Wirikuta que ha decidido alzar la voz en defensa de su tierra, agua, salud y medio ambiente y la hermandad con el pueblo Wixárika.

 13. En el mismo sentido advertimos que no nos mantendremos al margen del intento de destrucción del sitio sagrado Muxatena y 14 sitios sagrados más del pueblo Náyeri ante el proyecto de construcción de la Presa de Las Cruces en el rio San Pedro Mezquital, en el estado de Nayarit.

 14. Denunciamos las invasiones a manos de empresas agroindustriales en los territorios indígenas y campesinos que deliberadamente alteran las lluvias para su propio beneficio y destruyendo la vida campesina, como es el caso de la comunidad nahua de Tuxpan, Jalisco y el Altiplano Potosino en el territorio sagrado de Wirikuta.

 15. Exigimos la cancelación de concesiones mineras en el corazón de la sierra de Santa Marta, en territorio Popoluca y denunciamos el intento de invasión de de las tierras comunales de San Juan Volador del municipio de Pajapan por la empresa eólica Dragón, en el sur de Veracruz.

 16. Exigimos la cancelación del proyecto carretero Tuxtepec- Huatulco, el llamado  corredor turístico Chinanteco en el territorio Chinanteco, así como la cancelación de las reservas ecológicas en la región norte de Oaxaca.

 17. Exigimos la cancelación del acueducto impulsado por el mal gobierno de Guerrero que pretende despojar a los pueblos Na savi, Nancue  Ñomndaa y Afromestizo del agua del río San Pedro de la costa chica de Guerrero.

 18. Repudiamos el intento de inundación de los lugares sagrados del pueblo Guarijio de Alamo; Sonora, con la construcción de la presa Pilares, así como el desvío del río Sonora en perjuicio de la nación Komkaak, a la que se ha privado del agua desde hace 4 meses en provecho de los grandes terratenientes agrícolas de la costa de Sonora.

 19. Denunciamos la política de exterminio por parte del gobierno del Distrito Federal contra las comunidades y pueblos de la sierra del Ajusco, mediante el despojo y la devastación de los territorios ejidales  y comunales de San Miguel Xicalco y San Nicolas Totolapan, respaldamos y reconocemos a los subdelegados comunitarios en resistencia de San Miguel y Santo Tomas Ajusco.

 20. Saludamos la lucha de la Comunidad Autónoma de San Lorenzo Azqueltán, en el estado de Jalisco y reconocemos a sus autoridades autónomas, manteniéndonos atentos y solidarios a su lucha por el reconocimiento de su territorio ancestral.

 21. Saludamos y reconocemos la renovación de las autoridades de la comunidad autónoma Wixárika de Bancos de San Hipólito, Durango, asimismo apoyamos su lucha por el reconocimiento territorial ancestral que por más de 45 años ha venido exigiendo.

 22. Hacemos responsables a los funcionarios públicos de la delegación política de Xochimilco por amenazas al compañero Carlos Martínez Romero del pueblo de Santa Cruz Acalpixca por la defensa del agua y el territorio.

 23. Nos sumamos a los reclamos de las decenas de comunidades nahuas y totonacas de la Sierra Norte de Puebla que exigen la cancelación de las concesiones a empresas mineras y la implementación de proyectos hidroeléctricos, así como la cancelación de las concesiones mineras en la Sierra Sur y Costa de Oaxaca a la empresa Altos Hornos de México.

 24. Apoyamos la lucha de la comunidad de Conhuas en Calakmul, Campeche, por la defensa de su territorio y de su trabajo digno, al mismo tiempo exigimos cese las agresiones en contra de la comunidad por el gobierno de ese Estado.

 25. Exigimos el reconocimiento de las tierras comunales de San Pedro Tlaltizapán en la rivera del Chignahuapan, Estado de México, y el cese de los proyectos inmobiliarios en terrenos comunales.

 26. Exigimos respeto a las tierras recuperadas por la Unión Campesina Indígena Autónoma de Río Grande, Oaxaca, y saludamos a su campamento en resistencia.

27. Igualmente exigimos respeto al funcionamiento de la Radio comunitaria Ñomndaa, voz del pueblo amuzgo en Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero, así como el respeto de todas las radios comunitarias en los distintos territorios indígenas del país.

28. Reiteramos la exigencia de que el Estado mexicano garantice las condiciones de seguridad de Raúl Gatica del Consejo Indígena y Popular de Oaxaca-Ricardo Flores Magón.

29. Exigimos el respeto a las economías comunitarias que funcionan de manera autónoma y al margen del mercado libre que impone el capitalismo, como son los casos del uso del tumin en el territorio totonaca de Papantla, Veracruz, y el Consejo del Trueque en las comunidades del municipio de Tianguistenco, en el Estado de México.

Reconocemos, apoyamos y animamos las luchas por la autonomía y libre determinación de todos los pueblos indígenas que conformamos el Congreso Nacional Indígena, desde la Península de Yucatan hasta la Península de  Baja California.

Esto es lo que somos, nuestra palabra y nuestra lucha irrenunciable, somos pues el Congreso Nacional Indígena y nuestro es el futuro de nuestros pueblos.

A 18 de agosto del 2013.

Desde CIDECI- UNITIERRA, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.

 

Por la reconstitución integral de nuestros pueblos

Nunca Más Un México Sin Nosotros

 

CONGRESO NACIONAL INDÍGENA

Analysis: Hidden Hegemony: Canadian Mining In Latin America.

Canada’s mining industry is the largest in the world, and in 2004 its world market share accounted for 60 percent of all mining companies. In fact, the entire Latin American region is second only to Canada in terms of the breadth of its mining exploration and development activity.[i] In what some call the “halo effect,” Canadian industries have been perceived as the more conscientious alternative to their U.S. equivalents. Since Canadian industries are understood to have socially responsible practices, especially in contrast to those of American companies, they are typically welcomed abroad.[ii] Nonetheless, recent accusations that the Canadian mining company Pacific Rim played a role in the death squad killings of anti-mining activists in El Salvador has brought this reputation into question, while further investigation into the Canadian government’s regulation reveals that the government has mandated no true restrictions on its industry’s mining practices abroad. Left to its own accord, the Canadian mining industry has no problem destroying landscapes, uprooting communities, and even resorting to violence to promote its interests; for this reason, only government regulation can affect true change. A recent move by the Peruvian government to protect citizens near the city of Puno demonstrates that Latin American governments may finally be willing and able to regulate Canadian mining companies operating within their nations.

The Evolution of Canadian Mining in Latin America

In the period from 1990 to 2001, mineral investment in Latin America increased by 400 percent, and by 2005, the region was receiving 23 percent of total worldwide exploration investments. The Canadian mining industry’s share of the Latin American market is the largest of any country, at 34 percent in 2004.[iii] However, even with a substantial flow of Canadian investment in the mining sectors of these countries, living standards have not tangibly improved for those in proximity of the mines, despite the image portrayed by the mining industry.

For a large part of the 20th century, the majority of the mineral wealth in Latin America was government property. Beginning in the 1980′s, the regional shift to neo-liberalism also saw the transfer of state property to transnational corporations. [iv] The immediate entry of the Canadian mining industry into the Latin American market corresponds with this neo-liberal shift. The Canadian government used various means to facilitate and promote the Canadian mining industry’s entry into the region including funds from the World Bank, IMF and incentives provided by Canadian foreign policy initiatives themselves. Since the 1980s, structural adjustment programs implemented in Latin America have opened the region’s markets to incentivize investment from the world’s wealthiest nations. Canada has been a particularly vocal advocate of these measures, hoping to expand its economic interests in Latin America. [v]

Canada also promotes its economic reach in Latin America through Free Trade Agreements. In addition to its leadership role in NAFTA, Canada has established Free Trade Agreements or Foreign Investment Protection Agreements with many Latin American states, and has been a principal proponent of the Free Trade Area of the Americas.[vi] Canada’s Free Trade Agreement with Peru allowed the country to become Canada’s third-largest trading partner in Latin America by 2007.[vii] This increase is largely attributed to the rising price of mineral resources, especially since, “Gold and other precious metals constituted more than 53 percent of Peruvian exports to Canada in 2007.”[viii]

The Canadian government’s most controversial means of promoting its mining interests in Latin America is through foreign aid. Under the pretext of foreign aid, the Canadian International Development Agency or CIDA awarded Peru with a CAD 9.6 million, USD 6.2 million[ix] investment to the Mineral Resource Reform Project in a move meant to promote Canadian mining interests in the nation.[x]

One Canadian Mining Company’s Response to Resistance

Canadian mining companies often resort to extreme measures to promote their interests. The Canadian government has failed to regulate its mining industry abroad, but accusations that Pacific Rim, a mining company based in Vancouver, played a role in the deaths of anti-mining reporters in El Salvador demonstrates the extent of destruction that mining can reach in the region when left unchecked. In a July 12, 2011 statement, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont condemned the killings of anti-mining activists in El Salvador following the June 14, 2011 discovery of Juan Francisco Duran Ayala’s body; he was last seen posting flyers critical of gold mining in the region. His death is the most recent of numerous violent attacks against anti-mining activists in the country’s Cabañas region. [xi] In 2010, three anti-mining activists in the region were gunned down, after receiving numerous death threats citing their activism regarding the El Dorado mine in El Salvador. As a result, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demanded that the Salvadoran government protect the rights of journalists and the media. [xii]

One radio station in El Salvador, Radio Victoria, reports receiving death threats as well as threats on family members unless they curb their anti-mining expression.[xiii] Reporters without Borders described the station’s critical role, saying, “For nearly a decade, Radio Victoria has been the mouthpiece of local communities and environmental activists opposed to the mining operations of Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining Corp. The station has played a key role in providing the local population with information about the dangers that the mining poses to their health and even their survival.”[xiv] Given Radio Victoria’s strong anti-mining stance, one reporter said, “We don’t trust the men who are protecting us. The mining company has connections with the local authorities. I don’t trust the local police.”[xv] The Prosecutor General’s Office is in charge of this investigation, but despite the national and international attention surrounding the events, no report was issued as of June 2011.[xvi] The failure to produce any real answers surrounding these threats and murders suggests that Pacific Rim’s influence may reach beyond local death squads to the Salvadoran government.

The Negative Effects of Canadian Mining Around the World

Canadian industries operating abroad have always benefitted from positive perceptions of the nation’s practices resulting from the aforementioned “halo effect.”[xvii] However, in truth, Canadian mining often has drastic consequences for local environments and communities; thus, recent activities, in reality, stand to dampen this image. Across the globe, Canadian mining companies destroy landscapes, contaminate the environment, and disturb the lives of locals. Meanwhile, the Canadian government does little, if anything, to hold these companies accountable for their exploits. In effect, environmental groups recognize that Canadian mining firms are “just as bad as the most ruthless of American companies.”[xviii]

To illustrate, one Canadian gold mining company, Goldcorp, maintains mines in the following Latin America nations: Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Goldcorp represents just one of the many Canadian mining companies in Latin America, yet its mines have been associated with numerous infractions, including the destruction of archaeological sites, acid mine drainage, water resource depletion in drought-prone areas, polluting water resources with copper and iron, high levels of arsenic and lead in local inhabitants, mercury poisoning, pipeline bursts, and disregarding the pleas of locals.[xix]

The Effects of Mining on the Environment

Depletion of water resources and contamination are the principal negative ramifications of mining, in addition to physical destruction. Mining companies often forcibly monopolize water resources, as many mining techniques require large amounts of water. As a result, local communities are left with a profound shortage or impaired quality of water. For example, Goldcorp’s Marlin mine in Guatemala uses approximately 2,175,984,000 liters per year compared to the 153,300 used by an average North American citizen or the average 13,505 liters used by an African citizen.[xx] The problem is exacerbated in areas that receive as little as 150 mm of rainfall per year such as northwest Argentina, where the joint venture Alumbrera mine operated by Goldcorp, Xstrata and Northern Orion depletes the already precarious water supply, leaving locals in desperation.[xxi]

Water pollution has a more detrimental and long-lasting effect on the environment than water depletion. Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), the most common form of mining contamination, occurs when sulfides housed in the rock are exposed to air during excavation, forming sulfuric acid. This acid runs off into nearby streams and lakes, polluting the surrounding watershed. The acid dissolves other heavy metals it encounters such as copper, lead, arsenic, zinc, selenium and mercury, which further pollute the surface and ground water of the region.[xxii] AMD can continue for thousands of years after the mine is closed, as illustrated by a 2,000-year-old mine in Great Britain that continues to produce AMD today. Goldcorp mines have been associated with AMD in four Latin American countries: Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Argentina.[xxiii]

Cyanide, used to extract gold and silver from the surrounding rock, makes large-scale processing possible, but when released into the environment, it can have serious consequences. On average, 70 tons of waste is created in the processing of 1 ounce of gold. At Goldcorp’s San Martín mine in Honduras, an average of .78 ounces of gold is extracted from every ton of ore, and an enormous amount of rock must be moved. When chemically treated rock and ore, known as ‘mine tailings,’ spill during transport, the water supply can become contaminated with cyanide.[xxiv] Though mining companies report that cyanide is broken down by sunlight and transformed into a nontoxic form, it frequently harms, or even kills, aquatic life.[xxv] At the La Coipa mine in Chile, a former Goldcorp holding, mercury as well as cyanide was discovered in groundwater as a result of mine seepage. Blood samples taken from the local community population near Goldcorp’s San Martín mine in Honduras registered high levels of mercury, lead and arsenic.[xxvi]

False Hope and Canadian Bill C-300

The Canadian mining industry’s operations in Latin America have unquestionably harmed the surrounding environments and communities and influenced the policies of the host nations.[xxvii] Despite this, the Canadian government refuses to enforce any type of human rights regulations outside of Canadian territory; instead, the government supports the mining industry both financially and politically regardless of its practices. Several enlightened segments of the Canadian government took a stand against the government’s policy with respect to foreign mining practices, but to no avail. The parliamentary Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs and International Trade issued a report calling for reforms regarding mining in foreign countries. However, the government responded stating that no precedent for prosecuting or regulating practices outside of the Canadian territory currently exists. The government established a round-table to address the issue, viewed by many critics as an ineffective stalling tactic. [xxviii]

Canadian Bill C-300, also known as the Responsible Mining Bill, provided a glimmer of hope for increased accountability of Canadian mining industry practices in the developing world. The bill would have ensured compliance with the stringent international environmental practices the Canadian government claims to uphold, as well as reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to human rights. Additionally, the bill would have outlined environmental standards for the Canadian extractive industry, provisions for grievances to be brought before the ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and public reporting of any dismissed complaint in the Canada Gazette.[xxix] According to Bill C-300, any government funding for Canadian extractive companies abroad would be contingent upon compliance with the aforementioned standards and would require confirmation by the local Canadian embassy. C-300 was the legal apparatus to ensure acceptable practices by Canadian mining firms abroad. Although C-300 passed on the second reading in 2009, the bill ultimately failed to pass the final vote in the House of Commons on October 27, 2010.[xxx] This was an unfortunate victory for the Canadian mining industry, and was yet another sign that the current Conservative government does not support human rights and environmental health, at least not when Canada’s extractive industry could see its profit margin adversely affected in any way.

However, the government holds that it does in fact support human rights in developing nations through the controversial IMF and World Bank structural adjustments plans.[xxxi] In spite of Canada’s rather flattering reputation for high moral standards, at least in comparison to the U.S., Canada’s support for human rights appears quite dubious at times. Ottawa refused to sign the United Nations’ Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that requires consent from indigenous groups before any projects can commence on their land. Canada, along with Australia, called for revision, which significantly slowed the process and ultimately blocked its passage. [xxxii] The failure of this declaration was a certain victory for the Canadian mining industry in Latin America, which conducts its business almost exclusively on inhabited territory.

Nearly all new mine locations are located either on inhabited lands or close to established communities. Given the almost certain environmental degradation and pollution associated with mines, as well as the possible disruption in game and foul patterns, local communities tend to oppose mining. Though permission is technically required from indigenous communities before exploration or mining can begin on their lands, this is often a mere formality that does not even remotely protect the interests of the community. Because of this, mining is a persistent source of conflict in the region, pitting local and indigenous communities against large Canadian mining companies.[xxxiii]

Responses to Canadian Mining

Latin American resistance appears inevitable given the contradiction between the government’s policies and the citizens’ sentiments. Many Latin American citizens express little confidence in the private sector’s management of mineral extraction industries.[xxxiv] Local communities typically bear the brunt of mining cost, while profits are carted off to foreign headquarters of the mining company, leaving only a fractional percentage of profits within the capital or other major cities of the host nation. Since neither the Canadian government nor the respective national governments protect the rights of local community members, these communities are forced to stand up for themselves through protests and blockades.

Changing Times– One Latin American Country Turns Feisty and Stands up to Mining

Despite the efforts of Canadian mining companies to go to unacceptable lengths to ensure their interests seemingly at any cost, recent action taken by the Peruvian government may demonstrate a change in policy with regard to the Andean nation’s support of Canadian mining companies. In 2007, the Peruvian government granted a concession to the Canadian company Bear Creek Mining for rights to land near Puno, on the shore of Lake Titicaca. In early May of this year, protests broke out in the Puno region, demanding a halt to mining exploration and a revocation of the concession. Originally, protesters were relatively peaceful, blocking the Bolivian border crossing and other highways. However, in late May the protests turned violent, and participants began torching government buildings and threatening to interfere with the June 5 presidential election. The García government responded by putting a hold on all new concessions for twelve months, but this was not enough for the protesters; they later blockaded more roads and spread unrest throughout the entire Puno region, threatening other industries there as well. The government decided to revoke Bear Creek’s concession, despite outrage expressed on behalf of the company. Unfortunately, this decision was not made until the police fired on a group of protesters headed toward the Juliaca airport.[xxxv]

This decision by the Peruvian government symbolized a decisive victory for local interests and demonstrated a shift in government policy. Until recently, Peruvian government policy mechanically supported economic interests over those of its citizens. This policy shift was likely invigorated as a result of the June 5 presidential election, in which the left-leaning populist Ollanta Humala was elected. In the Puno department, Humala, a champion of rights and economic prosperity for all Peruvians, won the election decisively with 78 percent of the vote, the largest margin of all 26 of Peru’s departments.[xxxvi]

Conclusion

Canada, a country with a supposed commitment to environmental health and human rights, has the largest extractive industry presence in Latin America. Nevertheless, the Canadian government refuses to take any action when its extractive industry’s practices fail to guarantee an accord with the country’s broader allegiances to ethical practices abroad. Unchecked mining in Latin America has grievous repercussions for the environment and the populations in surrounding areas. However, given the large political and economic influence that the Canadian extractive industry wields, even at times resorting to violence, Latin American governments often neglect the best interests of their citizens and environment when they act to join forces with foreign multinationals against their own citizens. Fortunately, this trend seems to be changing, as seen with the Peruvian government’s revocation of Bear Creek Mining’s concession amidst the uproar from local communities. Sadly, this movement turned violent before the government reacted in the name of its own citizens. For this reason, it is imperative that Ottawa hold its industries accountable to some approximation of environmental and human rights standards, both at home and abroad.

References for this article can be found here.

About the author:

COHA

COHA, or Council on Hemispheric Affairs, was founded in 1975, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), a nonprofit, tax-exempt independent research and information organization, was established to promote the common interests of the hemisphere, raise the visibility of regional affairs and increase the importance of the inter-American relationship, as well as encourage the formulation of rational and constructive U.S. policies towards Latin America.

[1][i.] Gordon, Todd and Webber, Jeffery R. ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin              America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 70

[1][ii.] Derek Abma, “Our halo is wearing thin amid business scandals,” Vancouver Sun, July 1, 2011, accessed July   5, 2011, http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=5034584&sponsor=.

[1][iii.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin             America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 72

[1][iv.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin            America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 67-8

[1][v.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin             America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 66

[1][vi.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin            America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1,

[1][vii.] Stephen J. Randall, “Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America: Trade, Investment and Political Challenges,” Canadian International Council, accessed July 7, 2011, http://www.opencanada.org/wp-            content/uploads/2011/05/Canada-the-Caribbean-and-Latin-America_-Trade-Investment-and-      Political-Challenges-Stephen-J.-Randall.pdf.

[1][viii.] Ibid.

[1][ix.] “Historical Exchange Rates,” Accessed July 8, 2011, Oanda.com, http://www.oanda.com/currency/historical-   rates/.

[1][x.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin              America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 69

[1][xi.] “Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Violence Against Antimining Activists In El             Salvador,”             Accessed July 21, 2011, The Office of Senator Patrick Healy,               http://leahy.senate.gov/press/press_releases/release/?id=e29a4642-bd56-46e1-  bda8-                94799fff9e53

[1][xii.]Edgardo Ayala. ” Radio Station under Threat in Mining Region,” Accessed July, 21, 2011, Inter Press Service,                 http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=56111

[1][xiii.] Ibid.

[1][xiv.] Ibid.

[1][xv.] Ibid.

[1][xvi.] Ibid.

[1][xvii.] Derek Abma, “Our halo is wearing thin amid business scandals,” Vancouver Sun, July 1, 2011, accessed July               5, 2011, http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=5034584&sponsor=.

[1][xviii.] Ibid.

[1][xix.] “Investing in Conflict, Public Money, Private Gain: Goldcorp in the Americas,” Rights Action, Accessed June               22, 2011, http://www.rightsaction.org/Reports/research.pdf.

[1][xx.] Ibid.

[1][xi.] Ibid.

[1][xii.] Ibid.

[1][xiii.] Ibid.

[1][xiv.] Ibid.

[1][xv.] Ibid.

[1][xvi.] Ibid.

[1][xvii.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin          America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 64

[1][xviii.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin         America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 69

[1][xxix.] Joan Russow, “Canada Day 2011: 100 Reasons to Not Celebrate,” Pacific Free Press, July   1, 2011,   Accessed July 7, 2011, http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1-/9099-100-reasons-to-not-       celebrate-canada-day.html.

[1][xxx.] Ibid.

[1][xxxi.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin          America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 70

[1][xxxii.] Ibid.

[1][xxxiii.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin        America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 68

[1][xxxiv.] Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber, ‘Imperialism and Resistance: Canadian mining companies in Latin       America’, Third World Quarterly, 29:1, 72

[1][xxxv.] Lucien Chauvin, ” Peru’s Airport Siege: A Bad Omen for the New President,” Time, June   27, 2011,                Accessed July 7, 2011, http://www.time.com/time/world/article          /0,8599,2079964,00.html#ixzz1RWaxRMv0.

[1][xxxvi] Ibid.

http://www.eurasiareview.com/hidden-hegemony-canadian-mining-in-latin-america-analysis-28072011/

Conferencia Internacional: ‘Zonas libres de minería’, Bruselas, Bélgica, 23.11.2010

La proliferación de la industria minera en América Latina ha provocado la violación de derechos sociales, medioambientales, económicos y culturales y afecta directamente al desarrollo local y sostenible de las zonas afectadas. Son muchos los movimientos sociales que se han erigido en contra de la explotación de sus recursos naturales ante la debilidad y maleabilidad de sus gobiernos nacionales.

Esta conferencia nace en el marco de una campaña internacional que surge de una de estas experiencias. En concreto, ¿Minería en el paraíso? Zonas libres de minería, quiere apoyar a la población de cuatro provincias ubicadas en el norte de Perú que propone la creación de ‘zonas libres de minería’ en sus territorios. La declaración de zonas libres de minería se entiende como una medida de defensa hacia la acelerada expansión de concesiones mineras que amenazan la integridad de importantes ecosistemas y de un modelo de desarrollo sostenible.

 

El objetivo de la conferencia es analizar, desde una perspectiva multidisciplinaria, los argumentos que sustentan las zonas libres de minería (ZLM), herramienta para la defensa del medio ambiente y de los derechos humanos ante la preocupante expansión del sector minero en el Perú.

El punto central de la conferencia será identificar criterios compartidos y aquellas relaciones que pueden fortalecer las articulaciones internacionales entre los movimientos locales y las organizaciones europeas de defensa de los derechos humanos y del medio ambiente.

Donde?

Hogeschool Sint-Lukas Brussel, Paleizenstraat 70, 1030 Brussel (cerca de la estación de tren Bruxelles-Nord).

¿Cómo llegar?

  • Llegada a Bruxelles- Midi. Ir a la estación de Pre-Metro Midi B y tomar el Tram 4 dirección Gare du Nord hasta la parada Gare Bruxelles-Nord. A partir de ahí, seguir el mapa que se adjunta en el siguiente itinerario.

¿Cómo inscribirse?

Para asistir y participar en la Conferencia Internacional Mining in Paradise? Zonas libres de minería: una herramienta para la protección de los derechos humanos y ambientales debes inscribirte en nuestra página web siguiendo este enlace o enviando un correo con tus datos personales a conference@mininginparadise.org. La inscripción tiene un coste de 10 euros por asistente.

Convocan:

CATAPA

Frente por el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Frontera Norte de Perú

Muqui

11.11.11

Sint. Lukas, Perspectif Academy

 

http://www.mininginparadise.org

International Conference ‘No-go zones for mining’ 23,11,2010 Brussels, Belgium.

The boom of the mining industry in Latin America has caused the violation of social, environmental, economical and cultural rights and has had a direct impact on local sustainable development in the affected areas. This gave rise to a great deal of social movements that are opposed to the exploitation of their natural resources, and that against the weakness and malleability of their own national governments.

This conference originates from the objective of an international campaign that resulted from these experiences. More specific Mining in paradise? No-go Zones for Mining wants to support the population of four provinces in the north of Peru who propose to create ‘no-go zones’ in their regions. The declaration of no-go zones for mining is seen as a defence measure against the ever expanding mining concessions that threaten the integrity of important ecosystems and a sustainable development model.

The aim of the conference is to analyse, from a multidisciplinary viewpoint, the arguments that support the declaration of No-go Zones for Mining (NZM) as a means to protect the environment and human rights against the alarming expansion of the mining industry in the north of Peru.

The most important topic of the conference will be the identification of the international ties this declaration could bring about between local movements and European organisation for the protection of human rights and the environment.

Where is the conference?

Hogeschool Sint-Lukas Brussel, Paleizenstraat 70, 1030 Brussels (close to the Brussels North train station)

How to get there?

  • Arrival at Bruxelles-Midi. Go to the metro station Midi B and take Tram 4 direction Gare du Nord until the stop Gare Bruxelles-Nord.

How to register?

If you want to attend or participate the International Conference Mining in Paradise? No-go zones for mining: a tool for the protection of human rights and the environment you have to register on our website by following this link or by sending us an e-mail with personal data to conference@mininginparadise.org. It costs 10 euros per participant to register.

organised by:

CATAPA

Frente por el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Frontera Norte de Perú

Muqui

11.11.11

Sint. Lukas, Perspectif Academy

 

Organizaciones de Derechos Humanos exigen regulación a empresas mineras canadienses.

http://www.miningwatch.ca/en/letter-39-latin-american-human-rights-organizations-supporting-bill-c-300

39 Latin American Human Rights Organizations writes about canadian mining companies.

Oct 27 2010

Honourable Members of Parliament
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Honourable John McKay, MP Scarborough
MP proposing Bill C-300
Parliament Hill
Room 549 D Centre Block

The following signatories, members and representatives of Latin American human rights organizations, have learned, with great hope, about Bill C-300 that seeks to promote greater responsibility for Canadian mining companies in their overseas operations, as well as a mechanism for the Canadian Government to ensure that Canadian mining, oil and gas companies respect international environmental and human rights standards in all their operations.

In our countries, we have been witnesses to serious negative impacts generated by mining and extractives companies. In many cases, despite the fact that these actions amount to human rights violations, domestic crimes and violations of international environmental standards, we are unable to promote greater responsibility by these companies, due, in part to the absence of effective monitoring and complaints mechanisms. This often leaves leave the rights of farming and indigenous communities unprotected.

In this context, we believe that the enactment of Bill C-300 will constitute a valuable instrument to allow citizens in many countries of the world to demand of Canadian mining companies respect for international human rights and in particular economic, social and cultural as well as environmental rights and standards so that these can become a concrete and effective reality for everyone.

Furthermore, the implementation of mechanisms provided for in C-300 will send a positive message to the world regarding the commitment of the Canadian government regarding respect for international human rights treaties, to justice, and with care for the environment and definitively, a commitment to making the world a more just and human place for all human beings who share this common home, planet earth.

The urgency and the necessity for approval of this bill has been highlighted by the report “Corporate Social Responsibility: Movements and Footprints of Canadian Mining and Exploration Firms in the Developing World” produced by the Canadian Centre for the Study of Resource Conflict in 2009 and sponsored by the Prospectors and Developers’ Association of Canada (PDAC). This report indicates that Canadian extractive companies are responsible for the majority of human rights violations linked to mining, oil and gas companies in the so called developing world and that sadly, the region most affected by the actions of these companies is our own Latin America.

We therefore offer our full support to Bill C-300 and we urge the Canadian Parliament to approve this law, which without doubt, will generate important benefits the world over.

Respectfully,

http://www.miningwatch.ca/en/letter-39-latin-american-human-rights-organizations-supporting-bill-c-300

 


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