June 19th, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
Justice Denied – The Real Price of Mining in Colombia
MISN, in collaboration with Monica Gutierrez and Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (PASC) are developing JUSTICE DENIED, A web-based documentary series profiling three pivotal cases of foreign-funded mining exploitation in Colombia. These educational videos will showcase how Canadian-funded resource extraction projects are related to the violence experienced by numerous union leaders and local activists who are victims of assassinations, threats and intimidation for their work. They will also shed light on a situation in Colombia that doesn’t receive enough attention in Canada, which is home to 75% of the world’s mining companies. The project is currently in the fundraising stage, with an active campaign on Indiegogo.
Please visit the Indiegogo page for more information and to learn ways you can contribute, and “like” the page on Facebook! Your contributions will allow for this important project to happen!
May 27th, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
The letter below was written by members of an international delegation to Guatemala, including the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network’s own Merle Davis.
We invite others to use this letter to draft your own and send it to the company CEO’s, MP’s, and the Canadian Embassy. Denounce this violence and stay tuned for further ways to take action.
“Dear Daniel Kappes,
We are deeply concerned to learn of the repression happening today
(Friday May 23rd 2014) at the peaceful community encampment known as
“La Puya” outside of the El Tambor mine site in the municipalities of
San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, Guatemala. Last week on May
14th 2014, as a part of the University of Northern British Columbia
(UNBC) Geography and Rights Action Field School Delegation, we visited
La Puya to witness their struggle for the preservation of water, the
environment and the future of their children. Delegations led by Dr.
Catherine Nolin (UNBC) and Grahame Russell (Rights Action) have
visited La Puya multiple times since their struggle began on March 2nd
Before dawn this morning, community members reported 142 heavily armed
Guatemalan riot police and security guards hired by Kappes, Cassidy
and Associates (KCA)/EXMINGUA approaching the encampment at the
entrance of the El Tambor mine site, bringing with them mining related
machinery. This is not the first time the company has used the
Guatemalan national security forces and their private security to
violently intimidate and harass community members.
This repression is an illegal action against Guatemalan citizens who
have said “No” to mining in their territory. This company has no
social license to operate within this region. The El Tambor mining
license is fundamentally illegal according to national and
international laws. The Canadian and U.S. mining companies and the
Guatemalan government have never consulted with community members who
are concerned for their health, water and the environmental impact of
mining in their area. Members of La Puya have been resisting KCA, a
Reno, Nevada based mine, and Canadian mining company Radius Gold Inc.
for over two years. Radius Gold still has significant interests in
future potential profits from this mine, despite having sold their
primary assets to KCA after the shooting and attempted murder of
community leader, Yolanda Oquelí Veliz in June of 2012. These and
other violent actions against community members of La Puya follow upon
many community attempts to dialogue with members of the Guatemalan
This morning and this afternoon we received reports of violence
against community members by heavily armed Guatemalan security forces,
KCA/EXMINGUA private security. These reports include the violent,
illegal eviction, tear gassing, criminalization of at least 4
community members, assaults and harassment. At least 12 people have
gone to hospital. Despite this repression, community members of La
Puya did not respond with violence.
We denounce these actions as Canadian citizens. We are deeply
concerned for the safety and wellbeing of the men, women and children
who are in resistance to this imposed ‘development’ project. We demand
KCA end their tactics of intimidation and harassment through
Guatemalan police and private security. We demand the company respect
the rights of Guatemalan citizens who have the right to say “No” to
mining in their communities. We encourage the Canadian and United
States Embassies and international organizations to denounce this
violence and demand the Guatemalan government withdraw security forces
and company private security.
There should be no eviction of the peaceful resistance at La Puya, but
instead a cancellation of the El Tambor mining license. This has been
the community’s demand since their encampment started.
Dr. Catherine Nolin
Associate Professor of Geography
PhD Candidate, Human Geography
Queen’s University, Canada
PhD Student, Department of Geography
Kent State University, USA
MA Student, Interdisciplinary Studies
BA International Studies and Political Science Student
BA Anthropology & Economics Student
BA International Studies and Human Geography Student
Merle Davis Matthews
IBA Anthropology Student
York University, Canada
Alishia Lea Lindsay
BA Public Administration and Community Development Student
BA Global Environmental Studies Student
BA Public Administration and Community Development Student
BA Political Science Student
McGill University, Canada
BA Law and Society Student
Memorial University, Canada
May 27th, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
Photos: James Rodríguez from MiMundo.org
The peaceful protestors in the La Puya resistance to the El Tambor mining project were violently attacked and evicted on May 23rd. A number of people were injured as police escorted mining machinery through the protest line. Police shot tear gas, flash bombs, and according to some, rocks at peaceful protesters. The heavily armed police beat people, including children and elderly men and women. Nonetheless, the people of La Puya continued to resist the entrance of the mining equipment (as they have been doing 24 hours/day for the past two years taking shifts at the encampment they have set up to block the mine). Various people have been injured. There are reports of people detained. Foreigners have been warned to stay out or risk being thrown out of Guatemala. A day after the violence, people of La Puya are returning to their peaceful blockade of the mining site. But that doesn’t absolve the violence perpetrated on behalf of U.S.-based Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA) and the Canadian company Radius Gold, by the Guatemalan police and private security.
We stand in solidarity with La Puya in denouncing these acts of violence and are holding the people of San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc in our thoughts and hearts.
Stay tuned for further updates and opportunities to take action.
More photos can be seen at James Rodriguez’s Website
May 9th, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
Photo: Allan Lissner
Toronto, Ontario – GUILTY. That was the verdict rendered by jurors this morning in a people’s trial against the Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals outside the building where their shareholders were meeting behind closed doors. The testimonies delivered in the people’s trial were verbatim statements from claimants in ongoing lawsuits against HudBay brought by Guatemalans in Ontario courts and an eviction notice issued to the company by the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in Manitoba. The mock trial convened by the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network involved a 15-foot tall puppet representing HudBay’s CEO David Garofalo along with other larger than life props, including a 4-foot judge’s gavel.
The charges against HudBay concerning its former Fenix mine in Guatemala included the murder of community leader and school teacher Adolfo Ich, the gang rape of 11 women in Lote 8 during a forced eviction, and the shooting of German Chub Choc who was left paralyzed. One testimony the jury heard was from Angelica Choc, the widow of Adolfo Ich. Part of her statement read: “It is very painful to remember such shocking tragedy. The days since my husband was killed have been very hard. There has been no justice. The man who killed Adolfo still has not faced the courts. And the mining company, Hudbay, has not been held accountable. My five children have lost a father; I have lost my husband; and our community has lost a leader. We need justice for these losses.”
Another piece of testimony in the people’s trial was an eviction notice from the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) rejecting extractive activities on their traditional, treaty, and reserve territory. The MCCN has issued several stop work and eviction notices to HudBay, most recently this past February, and has offered to work together with the government of Manitoba in good faith to resolve the conflict. That offer continues to be ignored.
Jennifer Mills from the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network said, “HudBay Minerals has done everything it can to avoid its day in court here and in Guatemala. While we continue to support the communities pushing forward these processes, we felt we had to bring the charges to light here in front of their AGM where they can’t ignore us.”
For more information:
Jennifer Mills, Mining Injustice Solidarity Network: (647) 990-7897 or firstname.lastname@example.org
May 4th, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
Public Memorial Held in Toronto After Assassination of Teenage Activist Resisting Goldcorp/Tahoe Resources Mine in Guatemala
Photos by Allan Lissner.
On May 1st, as Goldcorp announced the year’s profits at their annual shareholder meeting in Vancouver, more somber events were happening in Toronto and in Guatemala to hold the same company accountable for the murder of 16-year-old mining resistance activist, Merilyn Topacio Reynoso Pacheco.
In Toronto, over 60 people gathered on Adelaide Street in front of Goldcorp’s offices for a memorial to honour Topacio’s life and to denounce the violent and cowardly act that killed her. At the same time, Topacio’s family, friends and community members were gathering in Guatemala to commemorate her activism and leadership, and to demand justice for her death.
Topacio was assassinated by unknown gunmen on April 13th in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, Guatemala. Her father, Edwin Alexander Reynoso who accompanied her at the time, was also shot and remains in critical condition. Both Topacio and her father were active in the resistance against Canadian company Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine, in San Rafael las Flores, Santa Rosa. Topacio, along with her work as the Youth Coordinator of the Resistance in Mataquescuintla, was also a poet and musician.
Marco Castillo led the memorial in front of the 130 Adelaide W. tower, where Goldcorp’s Toronto office is.
Canadian company Goldcorp owns a 40% share in the Escobal mining project which Topacio and her father have been resisting in defense of their community’s right to prior consultation, self-determination and human rights. At her funeral, Topacio’s mother promised: “The resistance doesn’t end here, my love.”
“One of the ways we can honour Topacio’s life and her mother’s promise is to stand here today and denounce Goldcorp for their responsibility in this act of violence, as well as in all of the violations of human rights and environmental rights that community members have faced since the mine opened in their region,” said Rachel Small, a member of the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN).
The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network and allies joined the larger May Day March. Photo by Allan Lissner.
Attendees heard some of Topacio’s poetry, her favourite music, and speakers who shared messages of solidarity and a commitment to continue to support this struggle. Candles, flowers, and a large painted banner that said “Rest in Power, Topacio” filled the busy downtown corner as people expressed their collective sadness, anger, and determination, as well as a moment of silence.
As the memorial was taking place, 36 international human rights, environmental justice, and solidarity organizations delivered a letter to Guatemala’s Attorney General, Claudia Paz y Paz, demanding justice for the attacks against Alex and Topacio Reynoso. “We condemn this violent attack and call on your office to conduct a full and impartial investigation to ensure that that those responsible are brought to justice,” the letter states.
The document also identifies other incidents of violence and injustice that have occurred in communities surrounding the mine, including two occasions when police violently evicted a peaceful, legitimate, and legally located encampment outside the mine. The former head of security for the mine is currently facing charges for shooting peaceful protestors during one of these instances.
Marchers raised their hands painted red in solidarity with the international “Goldcorp me enferma” [Goldcorp makes us sick] campaign. Photo by Allan Lissner.
After the memorial, participants joined in the annual May Day march through Toronto streets, sharing with hundreds of people the message that Canadian mining companies must be held accountable for their actions. In solidarity with the international M4 movement, many dipped their hands in red paint symbolizing the destruction of health and the environment brought about by Goldcorp’s mines.
For more images and further information, please visit Rachel Small’s BLOG.
May 2nd, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
May 8th @ 10 am
150 King St. W. (between University and York)
While HudBay’s shareholders meet inside for their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 8th, the company and its leadership will stand accused in a people’s trial outside on the sidewalk. A 15-foot puppet will stand in for the defendant, HudBay CEO David Garofalo, as a judge and jury comprised of members of the public deliberate on HudBay’s responsibility for grave abuses suffered by communities in Guatemala and Canada.The people’s trial will highlight real testimonies from Indigenous Q’eqchi’ communities in Guatemala, including forced evictions, the murder of community activist Adolfo Ich and the gang rape of 11 women. The company also stands accused of violating the inherent land rights of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in Manitoba.
Come out to take a seat at our People’s Trial in solidarity with affected communities, and help us serve justice to these corporate criminals!
April 28th, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
A Memorial to Commemorate the Life of Topacio Reynoso and to Hold Goldcorp Responsible
When: Thursday, May 1st, 4pm.
Where: Outside of Goldcorp’s Toronto offices: 130 Adelaide Street West (corner of Adelaide and York)
On April 13th, Merilyn Topacio Reynoso Pacheco, a 16-year old anti-mining activist was assassinated in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, Guatemala. Her father, Edwin Alexander Reynoso who accompanied her at the time, was also shot and remains in critical condition. Both Topacio and her father were active in the resistance against Canadian company Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine, in San Rafael las Flores, Santa Rosa. Topacio, along with her work as the Youth Coordinator of the Resistance in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, was also a poet and musician.
We must denounce this violent and cowardly act which took the life of a vibrant young woman, and community leader. At her funeral, Topacio’s mother promised: “The resistance doesn’t end here, my love.”
Canadian company Goldcorp owns a 40% share in the Escobal mining project which Topacio and her father have been resisting in defense of their community’s right to prior consultation, self-determination and human rights. To honour Topacio’s life, her mother’s promise, and to begin to hold Goldcorp accountable, we will be holding a memorial on the steps of Goldcorp’s Toronto office. On the same day as this memorial, Goldcorp will be holding its Annual General Meeting.
Following this memorial, we will join the larger May Day March nearby, which will include further actions to hold Goldcorp and the Canadian mining industry responsible for these and other acts of violence.
All are welcome to come and show solidarity with Topacio’s family and these communities’ struggle. Please bring flowers or candles if possible, but your presence is the most important.
This is just one in a whole series of events that comprise Spring into Action!
It’s that time of year again when Canadian mining companies and their shareholders come together for Annual General Meetings. Every year, while they celebrate the supposed “success,” “sustainability,” and “social responsibility” of their mining operations around the world, the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) launches a full season of events – Spring into Action! – which takes advantage of this strategic time to confront these companies with the reality on the ground and with testimonies from directly-impacted communities. We’ve got tons of protests, art builds, film screenings, street theatre, creative direct actions, and lots more coming up! Please join us!
Info on all events here: MiningInjusticeSN.wordpress.com/
April 19th, 2014 / Author: underminingsustainability
April 19, 2014
Dear Minister Baird,
We are outraged and deeply saddened by the news of the murder of Carlos Mejía Orellana on April 11, 2014, a journalist and marketing director of Radio Progreso, a Jesuit community-based radio station in El Progreso, Honduras. We would like to express our deepest condolences to Carlos’ family members, friends and colleagues. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who are mourning this senseless death. Read the rest of this entry »
April 16th, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
Poster produced by a youth journal to commemorate Merilyn Topacio Reynoso.
Late on the night of Sunday the 13th of April, Alex Reynoso and Merilyn Topacio Reynoso – father and daughter activists involved in the resistance against Canadian company Tahoe Resources’ Escobal Mine in Guatemala – were attacked by unknown suspects. Alex and Merilyn were on their way home to Matequescuintla after attending an activity in a nearby community. Merilyn, who was sixteen years old, was shot and killed; Alex was severely wounded and remains in intensive care.
More information will be shared as it becomes available. For details please visit Rachel Small’s blog. Rachel has recently returned to Toronto after a visit to the Escobal mine amongst other Guatemalan communities affected by foreign-owned mining projects. (http://rachelblumesmall.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/with-rage-love-and-solidarity-after-the-murder-of-merilyn-topacio-reynoso-and-the-attack-on-her-father/)
April 16th, 2014 / Author: mininginjustice
Photo Courtesy of: Rachel Small
The National Police, at the service of US mining company Kappes Cassiday and Associates (KCA), have been carrying out acts of intimidation and threatening eviction against communities in resistance at La Puya, just north of Guatemala City. Early April 9, a local company contracted by KCA, Transmac S.A., arrived at the mine site with heavy machinery, and with a National Civil Police (PNC) escort as ordered by the Ministry of the Interior. By mid-day, Transmac was forced to remove the machinery from the area. However, two representatives of KCA’s local subsidiary, EXMINGUA, remained throughout the day. The police presence also stayed and increased. By 2 pm, there were roughly 300 agents, many of whom were women dressed in full riot gear, lined up outside the entrance to the peaceful encampment.
The massive police presence, particularly the presence of female agents, gave the impression that an eviction attempt was imminent. Hundreds of people gathered at La Puya spent the afternoon under intense pressure and fear. While an arrest warrant was never emitted and the PNC made no attempt to remove the encampment, there is a clear intent to intimidate and provoke confrontation with the population in peaceful resistance.
The communities opposing KCA’s El Tambor gold mine have made clear that their actions are focused on stopping a project that will destroy their lives and livelihoods. They are not blocking the public road or impeding free transit. The communities maintain their willingness to dialogue with the government.
Excessive police presence continues in areas surrounding La Puya and there is concern that a violent eviction will be attempted in the near future.
Call and email Kappes Cassiday and Associates CEO, Dan Kappes, and the Ministry of the Interior in Guatemala now:
- Express your concern for the safety of the men, women and children in peaceful resistance;
- Demand an end to intimidation and harassment by police and private security, and respect for human rights;
- Urge respect for the ongoing dialogue and No to eviction of La Puya.
Kappes Cassiday and Associates
Dan Kappes - email@example.com
Ryan Adams – firstname.lastname@example.org
US Phone (775) 972-7575
Ministry of the Interior
Minister Mauricio López Bonilla - email@example.com
Guatemala Phone (011) 502-2413-8888