There was a time when Canada's reputation was that of 'peace keeper' and 'advocate for human rights'. However, as Canadian mining companies, continue their expansion into other countries, we are seeing an erosion of this reputation. And it's an erosion to the extreme opposite.
As policies exist today, there seems to be little that can protect the indigenous peoples, their lands and rights when it comes to Canadian mining companies plans and actions. This must be stopped.
"In November 2010, a proposed Responsible Mining Act that would have regulated the foreign operations of Canadian mining companies was narrowly defeated by 140-134 in the House of Commons. The defeat of the bill allows the companies to carry on with business as usual: unethical behaviour in establishing and running their operations, environmental destruction, human rights abuses and possibly murder.
Below are two press releases about the most recent violence in Mexico, and a letter you can send out that calls upon the government to enact legislation that would hold Canadian mining companies accountable for their actions in countries throughout the world." - Dianne Varga
BLOOD FOR SILVER, BLOOD FOR GOLD – THE ASSASSINATION OF BERNARDO VASQUEZ: At Fortuna Silver's mine in Oaxaca, Mexico
MURDER OF AN OPPONENT TO A CANADIAN MINING COMPANY
What can you do?
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; Elizabeth.May@parl.gc.ca; email@example.com
Subject: Foreign Operations of Canadian Mining Companies
Dear Prime Minister Harper and Minister Ablonczy:
On March 15th, Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, an Indigenous Zapotec community leader and member of the Coordinating Committee of the United Peoples of the Valley of Ocotlán in San José del Progreso, Oaxaca, was murdered in an ambush by a group of gunmen. Bernardo was an outspoken leader against the mining operations of Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver Mines in San José del Progreso, Oaxaca, known locally by the name of its Mexican subsidiary, Minera Cuzcatlán.
Those opposed to the mine have experienced frequent attacks, threats and arbitrary arrests. Two months ago, Bernardo Mendez was killed in another spate of violence related to the mine. Jen Moore, Latin America Program Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada, has called for a full investigation into the violence in San José de Progreso. “This should include,” she said, “examination of how the company entered the area and how it may be benefiting from, aggravating, or corroding local governance structures to the detriment of Indigenous peoples there.”
I ask that you publicly condemn the violence and lend your voice to the calls for a full investigation into the murders of Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez and Bernardo Mendez, and into previous violence in San José de Progreso, including any possible connections with Fortuna Silver.
I also ask that you call for protection of environmental defenders in San José de Progreso.
In addition, I call upon you to enact legislation that would hold Canadian extractive companies accountable for human rights violations and environmental impacts of their mining practices around the world. Canada’s reputation in the world is becoming more and more sullied the longer that Canada supports corporate interests over the interests of people and the environment.