News Release: Guatemalans to Appeal Case Against Tahoe Resources in B.C. Court: Reminder that Canada Must Be Open for Justice

On November 1st, the BC Court of Appeals will revisit a procedural motion in the case of seven Guatemalans who have brought a civil suit for battery and negligence against Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources. The suit concerns the company’s role in a violent attack in April 2013 when Tahoe’s private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the controversial Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala. Video footage shows that the group of men were shot at close range while attempting to flee the site.

In June 2014, seven men wounded during the violent incident filed the lawsuit in Canada against the company. In November 2015, a BC Supreme Court judge refused jurisdiction and said the case should be heard in Guatemala.

“The November 2015 decision ignored the fact that Guatemala has one of the highest rates of impunity in the world,” stated Jackie McVicar of United for Mining Justice. “The possibility to bring Tahoe’s then chief of security, much less the company itself, to justice in Guatemala for its role in the armed attack is slim, especially considering how State officials have worked to ensure impunity in this case.”

The lead suspect in the criminal case in Guatemala, former head of security for Tahoe, escaped police custody and fled the country just weeks after the BC Supreme Court decision was released in November 2015. Five police officers have been accused of enabling his escape.

“What we are seeing is not a matter of a few ‘bad apple’ companies as the Canadian government has tried to suggest,” commented Jen Moore of MiningWatch Canada. “Rather, communities are facing intensifying repression when they defend themselves and their well being from harms by mining operations throughout the region, while companies enjoy favourable laws and strong backing from Canadian authorities.”

Tens of thousands of area residents have peacefully voiced opposition to Tahoe’s project in Guatemala despite the threat of violence for doing so. A recent report from the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP) charts hundreds of murders, injuries, arbitrary arrests and detentions throughout Latin America in the past 15 years associated with Canadian mining projects and the failure of the Canadian government to act to redress or stop the violence being perpetrated.

The suit against Tahoe Resources is one of several cases that have been brought to Canada in hopes of finding justice for communities negatively impacted by Canadian mining operations overseas. In 2010, another group of Guatemalans filed a series of lawsuits in Ontario against Hudbay Minerals for negligence in incidents of murder, rape, and shooting causing serious injury near its Fenix nickel project. In 2014, Eritrean victims filed a civil case in BC against Nevsun over the use of forced labour, crimes against humanity and other abuses at the Bisha mine. Earlier this October, a BC Court ruled that the Nevsun case can proceed in Canada leading dozens more victims to step forward….

Read the full release here.

Posted in Community Resistance, Corporate Impunity, Nevsun Resources, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy, Tahoe Resources, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oct 18th: Breaking the Silence – 20 Years After Invasion & War in the Congo

Congo Week Event with Maurice Carney, Friends of the Congo

Tuesday October 18th @ 6:30 pm

1803 E 1st Ave, Vancouver

Grandview Calvary Baptist Church

unceded xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlil̓wətaʔɬ territories

On Facebook: http://bit.ly/2daWVtI

** This is a free event. The event is child friendly. Side entrance is street level and wheelchair accessible. Washroom has a stall that can accommodate a wheelchair (washroom door is 86 cm, the stall door is 61 cm). Sign language interpretation will also be a part of the program.

This year marks the 20 Year Anniversary of the invasion of the Democratic Republic of Congo by Uganda and Rwanda in 1996 that resulted in what is commonly described as the bloodiest war since World War 2. The conflict has torn apart the region. It is responsible for more than 5 million lives lost, many of them children. Rape has widely been used as a tool of war.  While western governments have been complicit in supporting the war, the occupation of the eastern Congo and the plunder of the resources for multinational corporations, the conflict and region have been largely ignored. Vancouver is also headquarters to mining companies operating in the Eastern Congo and benefiting from the war as well as imperial strategies in the region.

Congo week events are being held in various communities to help educate and encourage activism. In Vancouver this event hopes to help provide a deeper understanding of the conflict, the geopolitical struggle for power, industrial interests, the human costs and the role of solidarity campaigns.

PROGRAM:

Maurice Carney – Co-founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo. He has worked with Congolese for over fifteen years in their struggle for peace, justice and human dignity. Friends of the Congo works to educate people about the challenge of the Congo, mobilize a global movement in support of the people of the Congo and support local Congolese institutions working in the interest of the people. Maurice has also been involved in organizing around Congo Week and conflict minerals campaigns.

Kim Haxton – Is involved in community healing work as co founder of Indigeneyez, emphasizing leadership development, embodied awareness and ‘betrayal-to-trust’ rites of passage, de-escalation, de-colonization, diversity and anti-oppression training using the arts and the natural world.  Currently, Kim volunteers her services in the Democratic Republic of Congo, developing training programs for Peace and Conflict Resolution, where Ms Haxton is training local Congolese women who have been affected by civil war, poverty and sexual violence as trainers to work with others in their communities.

A speaker from the former United Congolese Community of BC organization. The United Congolese Community of BC organization has formally disbanded but a member of the community network will be presenting.

Territorial welcome and words from Cease Wyss, a Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo/ Hawaiian/Swiss media artist, community organizer and activist. She has produced various formats of media art, as well as being a mentor in her field for close to 15 years. She is also an ethno-botanist, traditionally trained in this field by Indigenous Elders. Her work involves site-specific and culturally focused teaching with storytelling as her means to sharing knowledge.

The event is being organized in partnership with Friends of the Congo. Friends of the Congo is “a majority Congolese institution made up of members of the Congolese diaspora in Africa, US, Canada, Europe.” Friends of the Congo: http://www.friendsofthecongo.org/

Events around the world are being organized in response to the call for global solidarity and mobilization towards Congo Week IX events called for by Friends of the Congo, a majority Congolese institution. The local event is supported by Friends of the Congo, members of the former United Congolese Community of BC, SFU’s Institute of Humanities, Mining Justice Alliance, Streams of Justice, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Stop the War Coalition.

Posted in Conflict and Repression | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Press Release – Vancouver Court Clears Way for Slave Labour Lawsuit Against Canadian Mining Company To Go To Trial

Friends of MiningWatch

(Vancouver) The Supreme Court of British Columbia today rejected efforts by Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources Limited (TSX: NSU/NYSE MKT: NSU) to dismiss a lawsuit brought by three Eritrean men who allege they were forced to work at Nevsun’s Bisha Mine.

This marks the first time that a mass tort claim for modern slavery will go forward in a Canadian court, and the first time a case against a mining company for alleged abuses in overseas operations has been allowed to proceed in British Columbia.

Mr. Justice Patrice Abrioux rejected Nevsun’s position that the case should be dismissed in Canada and instead heard in Eritrea. Justice Abrioux ruled, “There is sufficient cogent evidence from which I can conclude that there is a real risk that the plaintiffs could not be provided with justice in Eritrea.” Justice Abrioux continued, “This is particularly the case if they then chose to commence legal proceedings in which they … call into question the actions of a commercial enterprise which is the primary economic generator in one of the poorest countries in the world.”

In prevailing on this issue, the plaintiffs overcame an argument that has permitted other companies accused of abuses to have Canadian cases dismissed in favour of foreign courts.

In another groundbreaking decision, Justice Abrioux determined that claims of crimes against humanity, slavery, forced labour and torture can go forward against Nevsun. It is the first time that a Canadian court has recognized that a corporation can be taken to trial for alleged violations of customary international law.

“Today’s historic judgment allows the case to move forward to a trial on the merits,” said Joe Fiorante, Q.C., of Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “We now intend to use the court’s discovery processes to conduct an exhaustive investigation into the truth of what Nevsun really knew about the human rights situation at the mine.”…

Read the full release here, on the MiningWatch website

 

Posted in Corporate Impunity, Local and Indigenous Rights, Nevsun Resources, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mining Offshore – Jurisdictions, That Is

By Jamie Kneen, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Miningwatch Canada

Source: MiningWatch.ca  13 May 2016

Canadian tax havens

Top 10 Canadian tax havens – via Canadians for Tax Fairness

“The scandal is what’s legal.” – Edward Snowden

The massive leak of secret banking information tagged “The Panama Papers” has made a lot of waves in the weeks since its contents started being made public, and they were renewed this week with the release of a searchable database of leaked material.

Those waves may yet prove strong enough to overcome the sandbag redoubts created by banks and wealth individuals and corporations (who are also legally people, right?) to protect their wealth from marauding tax collectors.

If they do, it will be because the public decides that it has finally had enough of those who are pleased to benefit from public services and public goods (like mineral deposits) – but will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid contributing to those public services.

The leak of client information from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca shines a very bright light on the unfairness of an international system that creates shrouds of secrecy around the movement of money and facilitates the spread of tax evasion (illegal) and tax avoidance (legal, but reprehensible). The more people find out, the less they like it.

Where’s Canada?

Some Canadians – both individuals and corporates – do appear in the database, but not many. Initially, CBC said it would not publish the names of some 350 Canadians exposed through the leaks, not out of concern for their reputations, but because they weren’t famous enough. CBC did confirm that they included mining and oil and gas executives, lawyers, and even known fraudsters.

ICIJ – the International Coalition of Investigative Journalists, who received the leaked documents and controlled the media coverage – did publish a partial database of leaked information just this week. They are revealing only names and locations, and will only release other details from the leaked documents (e-mails, transactions etc.) as they see fit.

One Canadian company that did jump out of the database was Ivanhoe Mines, led by mining promoter Robert Friedland. The leaks show the structure that Ivanhoe used to operate in Burma (Myanmar) for many years in violation of international sanctions against that country’s military dictatorship, and how Friedland eventually sold the property to Rio Tinto.

Ivanhoe Mines offshore holdings

Ivanhoe MyanmarBearing in mind that Mossack Fonseca is only one of a number of law firms that specialise in secret accounts – and far from the largest, apparently – even this huge data leak still only represents a small portion of the world of secret offshore investment. Even so, it seems curious that Canada and the US are so underrepresented. There are good explanations, however – as the Tax Justice Network has pointed out, there are good reasons that US money would not hide in Panama, including the fact that states like Delaware and Nevada are major, and more accessible, secrecy jurisdictions.

Panama is not the main destination for Canadian dollars seeking to avoid community service work, either. Business in Vancouver’s Jen St. Denis explains nicely how Barbados gets the lion’s share, followed by the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. Canadians for Tax Fairness notes that the amounts are growing rapidly, now over $40 billion a year, and lately more has been going to the Cayman Islands (see graphic).

Canada does have a significant interest in Panama, however – in mining. First Quantum Minerals’ multibillion dollar “Cobre Panama” is the only operating mine, but several more are at different stages of development. Their investments are protected by the Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement, which, like most modern free trade agreements, has precious little to do with free trade – or in this case, any trade at all – and more to do with investment protection.

We were one of few groups to raise the alarm when the Canada-Panama FTA was debated in Parliament in 2012. We warned that Panamanians, especially the peasant farmers and indigenous peoples with the most to lose, would lose any possibility of pressing their government to put their interests ahead of international investors, thanks to the agreement’s NAFTA-like investment protection provisions.

There was a link to financial secrecy and corruption, too, of course. Todd Tucker of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch warned that the pact “would give new rights to the Government of Panama, and to the hundreds of thousands of offshore corporations located there, to challenge Canadian anti-tax-haven initiatives outside of the Canadian judicial system.”

Justin Trudeau and the Liberals joined the Conservative government of the day in supporting ratification of the deal; the NDP, Bloc Québécois, and Greens opposed it.

Beyond Panama

Pressure to end secrecy around “beneficial ownership” (the actual owners of these accounts and businesses) and to impose transparency on payments to governments are vital steps toward exposing corruption in the hope that once exposed, it will be too embarrassing to continue. However, the crucial issue in the mining sector (as opposed to, say narcotics trafficking) is corporations’ ability to move money around to take advantage of the most favourable legal tax applications. There is certainly fraud and corruption, but it is actually less important than what is pillaged legally or semi-legally, and what corporations legally avoid contributing to the countries where they actually operate – and incur massive public liabilities, for damage to workers’ health, water supplies, etc.

Global Financial Integrity outlines illicit financial flows in a fairly easy to understand way, estimating that in 2013 $1.1 trillion left developing countries. GFI says this is a conservative estimate, which is quite an understatement as it doesn’t include huge but even harder to quantify flows in money laundering or mispricing of services. GFI has found that illicit flows out of Africa are probably significantly greater than development aid and foreign direct investment combined.

Crucially, complex subsidiary structures also allow corporations to avoid liability. Nevsun, for example, is being sued over allegations that the company was complicit in the Eritrean government’s use of conscripted labour and other human rights abuses at the company’s Bisha mine. As Business in Vancouver recently noted:

Nevsun…owns the Bisha mine in Eritrea indirectly through a complex link of subsidiaries. Nevsun Resources (Canada) owns 100% of Nevsun (Barbados) Holdings Ltd., which owns Nevsun Africa (Barbados) Ltd., which owns 100% of Nevsun Resources (Eritrea) Ltd., which owns 60% of the Bisha Mine Co. The Eritrean National Mining Corp. owns the remaining 40% of the Bisha Mine Co.

This isn’t even secret; like Nevsun, many companies lay out their subsidiary structures in their annual reports and regulatory filings. But they don’t publicise the financial flows between those subsidiaries, which is where profits are shifted from one shell company to another to avoid taxation – and even show losses to take advantage of subsidies and tax credits.

What needs to happen is as simple as it is politically difficult, given the confluence of powerful interests with a lot of money at stake. Bruce Livesey has outlined in the National Observer how difficult it will be to change this.

Full transparency is essential, revealing the actual owners of secret accounts, but it is only a first step. There needs to be a legitimacy test, to ensure that corporate subsidiaries have a legitimate business purpose or economically substantial role. Canada should simply not allow corporations to route money through shell companies or “mailbox” subsidiaries in tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions. Other than tax avoidance and evasion – or money laundering – there is no legitimate reason for it. NDP MP Murray Rankin tried to introduce such a test to the Income Tax Act with a private member’s bill (C-621) in 2014, but why not apply it to corporations?

As the Tax Justice Network commented with respect to individuals, “We are unaware of any legitimate reason as to why individuals need to incorporate companies in secrecy jurisdictions. It is now time for that practice to end.”

Posted in First Quantum, Nevsun Resources, Oh, Canada: Canadian policy, Social Costs, Private Profit, Turquoise Hill Resources (Ivanhoe) | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Report – Mining, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Conflict: OceanaGold and the El Dorado Foundation in El Salvador

The full report, executive summary, and a print version are available for download here, at MiningWatch’s website.

This report documents the current activities of the El Dorado Foundation, which was originally established by Pacific Rim Mining in El Salvador in 2005, and is now operated by its successor company, OceanaGold. The two companies have sought to develop a disputed gold mining project, which is currently stalled in the exploration phase, in the department of Cabañas in northeastern El Salvador. The project, which has not advanced in roughly ten years, is the subject of a controversial international arbitration process at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, D.C.

This report was produced in collaboration with the National Roundtable against Metal Mining in El Salvador and organizations in the department of Cabañas, El Salvador in response to their concerns about the Foundation’s activities. A three-person research team was formed to investigate and write the report, including Stuart Kirsch (University of Michigan), an anthropologist with extensive research experience on mining conflicts; Jen Moore, Latin America Program Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada; and Jan Morrill, the former US/El Salvador Sister Cities Coordinator and former Coordinator of the International Allies against Metallic Mining in El Salvador.

The research and analysis presented in the report is based on a review of company reports, documents obtained from Salvadoran government ministries, and interviews. The research team spoke with local residents, current members and the former legal representative of the National Roundtable against Metal Mining, and government officials in Cabañas and San Salvador during visits to El Salvador in February and August 2015. Excerpts from interviews with local residents and organizations are presented anonymously given concerns about their personal safety. Attempts to speak with representatives of the Foundation El Dorado were unsuccessful.

Posted in Conflict and Repression, Local and Indigenous Rights, OceanaGold, Pacific Rim | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Labour Struggles truly have no borders:” Vancouver’s connections to Slave labour in Eritrea

By Daniel Tseghay

Source: RankandFile.ca

They worked 12 hours a day, with no more than an hour break under an unrelenting sun, for six days a week. When one worker left the work site without authorization he was imprisoned for four months. Working for the equivalent of $30 a month, they were rewarded with inadequate food and housing.

A Nevsun Resources' gold and copper mine in Eritrea.
Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources’ gold and copper mine in Eritrea

“They had only lentils to eat, no proper clothes, no security equipment,” said a former worker interviewed for the United Nations report, Report of the detailed findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, published in June. The conditions left many of the workers riddled with health problems.

And, perhaps worse, this was all forced labour.

“They did not apply for the job,” says Elsa Chyrum, an Eritrean human rights activist in an interview for a CBC Fifth Estate episode that aired in February, entitled “Dealing with a Dictator.”

“If they refused they would be killed, tortured, or detained indefinitely.”

Eritrea, a small northeastern African nation with a population of under six million, is home to a growing population of enslaved workers. The country established a National Service program in 1995 requiring adults to undergo 18 months of military training, but that quickly transformed into indefinite conscription, often lasting for years, and sometimes for over 10 and even 20 years.

Conscripts, furthermore, are rarely engaged in duties related to the military. Often, they serve as labourers for state-run industries. They might work in agriculture, construction, education, or in the civil service. They rarely know where they’ll work or when their term will end.

Most conscripts only see their family once or twice a year with few opportunities for communication between visits. Access to healthcare is limited, torture is common, and wages are too low to support their families.

Those still of secondary school age often drop out to provide for their ruptured families.

“I was seven years in the military, but it was impossible to live,” says Aklilu in an interview with the authors of the Amnesty International report Just Deserters: Why Indefinite National Service in Eritrea, published in December.

“I have my mother, my three children and my wife all dependent on me, and I could not afford to feed any of them,” says Aklilu.

Nevsun Resources, a Vancouver-based company, owns the mining site in Eritrea. There are allegations that hundreds of military conscripts, essentially enslaved labourers, worked for Nevsun through its subcontractor, Segen Construction.

In 2010 alone, roughly a third, or 440 conscripts, worked at the site. In November of 2014, three Eritrean refugees filed a civil suit against the company in the BC Supreme Court for their mistreatment. What happens throughout the country to conscripts evidently happens on that site as well.

Consequently, current conscripts and teens expecting to be conscripted are leaving the country in droves. Roughly 5,000 people leave every month, the third largest group of people crossing the Mediterranean today – a remarkable fact considering the country’s size.

Most will simply walk over the border into Ethiopia or Sudan, where they risk getting shot by border guards. They might then stay in refugee camps, sometimes for years, or immediately hire a smuggler to take them across the desert towards the Mediterranean.

Paying thousands of dollars upfront, they’re often packed into overflowing pickup trucks, with many dying of dehydration amidst temperatures rising to 60 degrees Celsius.

“In the hottest part of the desert, an adult sitting in the shade loses up to one litre of water an hour, and significantly more when moving.”

“He or she experiences dizziness, nausea and muscle cramps, and the skin turns purplish,” writes Jan Claudius Völkel in openDemocracy.

When someone has had fluid loss reaching 10 percent of their body weight, “disorientation sets in. At that stage, people are prepared to drink anything: blood, urine, engine coolant or battery acid. In the Sahara, a person can easily die of thirst in a single day.”

Surviving that, many are held for ransom on top of their initial payment. Relatives in Canada, the United States, and Europe often receive unexpected calls from panicked voices saying they need tens of thousands of dollars immediately.

Between 5,000 and 10,000 refugees, most from Eritrea, have been killed in camps where smugglers torture migrants to extract a ransom, the estimated total being around $600-million since 2009.

If they’re not killed, they’re burned, beaten, have melted plastic dripped on them, electrocuted, have their limbs cut off or their organs harvested, and women are frequently raped.

“Some Eritrean women are so desperate to make it to Europe as opposed to staying in a refugee camp,” writes Caitlin L Chandler on the site Africa is a Country, “that they first receive injectable contraception before undertaking dangerous smuggling routes – because they are aware they are likely to be raped.”

If they make it to Libya, the most common sight of departure by boat, they’re often detained again, extorted again, beaten and tortured again, before boarding rickety ships. Many are so weakened by the ordeal that, if the boat sinks, they’re unlikely to summon the strength to stay afloat. Arriving safely, many still come with ulcers and chemical burns from the fuel flooding the lower levels of the boats.

Reaching the shores of Europe, safety and security is still uncertain. Increasingly, Europe is establishing a distinction between legitimate refugees and mere economic migrants. Eritreans, apparently, are in the second category.

There is no war, narrowly defined, in the country. Only economic devastation. But that isn’t enough to justify permanent residence. And so many Eritreans are simply deported back to the country they risked everything to escape.

And this raises some new questions. If Eritreans, making up about a majority of migrant deaths in the sea over 2015, are primarily leaving because of labour conditions, and if a Vancouver-based company is directly contributing to that reality, what does this mean for the labour movement in British Columbia?

“People will say we need to take care of our own in Canada. That’s true,” said Andrea Duncan, co-chair of the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) international solidarity committee.

“You often hear labour unions say an injury to one is an injury to all – but that doesn’t mean only if you’re Canadian. Labour struggles truly have no borders.”

The committee was established with BCGEU members contributing 20 cents a month into a fund. The committee then makes recommendations to the provincial executive.

The challenges, of course, are formidable. Whether or not an industry explicitly opposes the use of slave labour is one thing – but where it invests in is another.

“People need to watch where they’ve invested,” Duncan says. “All of our direct investments are fossil fuel-free but where we run into issues is the pension. A lot of our member pensions would be managed by the BC Investment Management Corporation which doesn’t pursue divestment strategies.”

That means they might be invested in Nevsun or industries like Nevsun, with members inadvertently contributing to exploitation and devastation abroad.

This isn’t in keeping with the spirit of the labour movement, according to Duncan.

“Everybody deserves to have dignified working conditions that are safe and they get to go home to their families,” Duncan says. “That applies to everybody across the globe. Forget about the borders.”

Posted in Local and Indigenous Rights, Nevsun Resources, Property and Livelihoods, Social Costs, Private Profit | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Film: Plundering Tibet – Sunday March 8th

Plundering Tibet – Environmental and Social Consequences of Resource
Exploitation

Film Screening and Discussion Forum

please share the info via the Facebook event page! (link below)

https://www.facebook.com/events/986112468084752/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

Date: Sunday March 8, 2015

Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Location: Library Square Conference Centre (350 West Georgia Street,
Vancouver)

Room: Peter Kaye Room

 Suggested Donation: $10

 Sponsored by Canada Tibet Committee (www.tibet.ca)

 From Wild Yak Films (http://www.wildyakfilms.com/)

PLUNDERING TIBET
A film by Michael Buckley
A personal take on mining in Tibet
How much can an ecosystem take before it collapses?

Length: 24 minutes

Plundering Tibet is a short documentary about the dire consequences of  China’s ruthless mining in Tibet. As a Canadian filmmaker, the narrator  has a personal take on this because of the involvement of Canadian  companies in mining in Tibet—and the railway to Lhasa. Following the  arrival of the train in Tibet in 2006, large-scale mining of lithium,
gold, copper, lead, crude oil, natural gas and other resources is under way to feed China’s voracious industrial sector. Tibetans have vigorously protested the defilement of their sacred mountains by Chinese mining operations. None of the mining operations benefit Tibetans. In fact, mining pollutes drinking water, kills the livestock, and degrades the
grasslands on which Tibetan nomads depend. A disaster of Biblical proportions is unfolding in Tibet—so big you can see it happening on Google Earth—the mines, the pollution, the environmental damage.

The environmental impact may go far beyond Tibet’s borders because of rivers that run downstream to ten Asian nations—including India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, Burma and Vietnam. Tibet’s abundant rivers supply large quantities of both water and power for mining operations. Chinese engineers are heavily damming Tibet’s mighty rivers to supply
power for large-scale mining operations: the building of mega-dams will immediately affect the nations downstream. The documentary uses undercover  footage and still photography shot on location in Tibet—including  cellphone footage of an anti-mining protest smuggled out of Tibet.  Although some photography of mine sites was shot within Tibet, it is extremely difficult to get to mining sites due to tight security in remote locations. For mining sites in Tibet, the film uses Google Earth flyovers to show what is happening on the ground, hidden from view.

Posted in Environment and Health, Local and Indigenous Rights | Tagged , , | Leave a comment