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The Haiti Support Group‘s Haiti Briefing no. 77 is out now. Entitled “The Miners Next Door”, this edition examines the current state of mining in Haiti, the role of global mining corporations in taking advantage of local mining codes and the interest of foreign investors in exploiting Haiti’s natural resources. We also speak to local groups who have opposed the close circles within the Haitian mining industry and who tell us of the struggles and threats they are currently facing.
Haiti’s mining sector is the latest phase of a well-known economic cycle, where US and Canadian companies secure lucrative deals for much less than they are worth, leaving little to show for it but cleared land, disappointed hopes or worse. People who live in these areas are often unaware of the explorations taking place or indeed the impact that such operations could have on their lives and natural resources.
To read the HSG’s Haiti Briefing no. 77, please click here.
Over 1000 people prevented from participating in march to protest of pro-mining conference by Nicaraguan authorities.
Managua, Nicaragua August 13, 2014.
Today, social organizations concerned with the protection of the environment organized an environmental walk in Managua to express concerns about the negative impacts that mining projects are having on communities around the country, but as the organization of the walk progressed, several measures were taken by government officials to prevent the mobilization of communities to defend their commons and mother earth.
On August 12, 2014, officials with the national police called drivers hired to mobilize from Matagalpa to inform them that they did not have permission to drive to Managua and were directed to cancel already scheduled trips to Rancho Grande that would mobilize people to the environmental walk Managua. Today, August 13, 500 members of the Movement Yaoska Guardians community organization are retained in the town of Palo Solo, Peñas Blanca in Matagalpa by riot patrol and traffic police. The police are withholding documents (licenses and vehicle registration) and are telling community members that they are not allowed to travel to Managua.
Rancho Grande is a highly productive district, which generates by the main export of the country (coffee), in an organic and sustainable manner. Community members argue that any extractive activity will destroy the environmental conditions that exist in the area ensure sustainable production which already provides general employment, a sustainable local economy and a sustainable development model for the country.
The 36 communities in the municipality have publicly rejected the “El Pavón” mining project owend by Canadian mining company B2Gold.
In the town of Santo Domingo, 500 people are also been detained by the national police, and also prevented from participating in the walk for the defense of the environment in Managua. In a similar fashion, community members were not given permission to leave the town, and finally 3 buses full of people have been retained.
In this municipality, communities are opposed to the “El Jabali” mining project which has operated without prior consent from the population since 2012. This project is also owned Canadian mining company B2Gold.
Janeth Castillo, Member of the strategic alliance for the defense of the environment of Matagalpa stated that “Government authorities are violating Articles 53 and 54 of the Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua that guarantees freedom of movement and freedom of expression and the right to protest and express ourselves in defense of our commons “.
Given the above stated facts:
• We, men and women of organizations and social movements in the Central America region, demand respect for the civil and political rights of the inhabitants of these municipalities, particularly their freedom of movement and freedom to speak freely in defense of our common goods.
• We demand that the Government of Nicaragua guarantees the integrity of the people who are being detained.
• We express our opposition to the installation of extractive projects in our countries, because of the environmental and social costs they bring to the region.
• We demand the creation of sustainable development policies that guarantee the right to life, to a healthy environment for future generations.
YES TO LIFE …
NO TO MINING, OUR COMMON GOODS ARE NOT FOR SALE,
THEY MUST BE CARED FOR AND DEFENDED
The Hugo Chavez People’s Defense Front - Southwest Canada Chapter
invites to its ninth monthly Discussion Group
Mining and its consequences for the environment in Guatemala and Latin America
Guest speaker: Sarita Galvez, member of the Mining Justice Alliance (MJA)
Date: Thursday, June 05th.
Place: Heartwood Café,
Place: Heartwood Café,
317 Broadway E
Vancouver, BC V5T 1W5
Time: 7 pm
Space is limited
Please be aware this event is not going to be held at the Chilean Co-op as usual.
On May 26, the Mining Justice Alliance held a picket outside the offices of Radius Gold in downtown Vancouver. Radius Gold sold the controversial El Tambor mine to US-based Kappes, Cassiday & Associates (KCA), however still retains a large interest in the project, which KCA has not yet paid for in full.
The MJA stands in solidarity with the people of La Puya, who were violently evicted from their protest encampment on Friday after two years of peaceful protest.
Phone call to Kappes Cassidy regarding violence and invasion of heavy machinery at La Puya, Guatemala
|Women of La Puya face off against riot police.|
We need your help! Early this morning a convoy of heavy machinery showed up at La Puya and tried to enter the site of the “El Tambor” Mine in San José del Golfo. As over 100 riot police and four trucks arrived, community members rushed to mobilize support to resist the aggression. The arrival of 100 additional riot police, the majority of whom are women, suggests that another eviction attempt may be imminent. Residents around the proposed site of the El Tambor Mine, owned by a subsidiary of Reno based Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, have been blocking the entrance of mining equipment to the site for over two years.
Please call Kappes, Cassiday & Associates right now at (775) 972-7575 and ask them to stop intimidating peaceful protesters and trying to force their way into the mine site.
Recent attempts at negotiation were made this week, but ultimately stalled when the government refused to allow the negotiations to be recorded. The Vice-Minister of the Interior insinuated that the government had agreed to accompany the mine equipment because the dialogue was effectively “broken.” Community members at La Puya reiterate that they want to complete the negotiation process with the government, but with transparency.
On previous occasions, the Interior Ministry has sent hundreds of police officers including riot police from to accompany and protect the mine company’s machinery and try to force La Puya to allow the equipment into the site. In addition, four people were arrested and a forcible eviction was attempted without an order from an appropriate judge in December of 2012. In other conflicts, the Guatemalan police have used extreme force when evicting environmental activists, leading to grave injuries and even deaths. We fear that that this could happen again despite the protesters deep commitment to non-violence.
Please call Kappes, Cassiday & Associates at (775) 972-7575 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.
In Peace and Solidarity,