Category Archives: Extractive Industries

U.S. Federal Court Action Requests Information from Newmont Regarding Repression of Protests at its Conga Mine Project

Earth Rights International

January 24, 2014
Contact:

Rick Herz (U.S.): (860) 233-4938, rick@earthrights.org
Benjamin Hoffman (Peru): +51-959-284295, benjamin@earthrights.org

January 24, 2014, Denver – EarthRights International (ERI) filed an action in federal court today on behalf of a protestor paralyzed by police violence at the site of Newmont Mining’s Conga mine project in Peru. ERI is seeking documents and information from Newmont to assist in pending legal proceedings in Peru related to the police repression of protestors against the Conga project.

Elmer Eduardo Campos Álvarez, a 32-year-old resident of the Cajamarca department, where the Conga project is planned, lost a kidney and his spleen and was paralyzed from the waist down on November 29, 2011, when police officers shot him in the back while he was peacefully protesting. Mr. Campos was among at least 24 protestors injured by police that day.
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Despite Legal Attacks, Conflict Minerals Ban Gets Stronger

Carey L. Biron

Former “blood diamonds” now provide employment in Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS
Former “blood diamonds” now provide employment in Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

WASHINGTON, Jan 8 2014 (IPS) – Major manufacturing and business groups on Tuesday urged a court here to roll back a new U.S. regulation that would soon require major manufacturers to ensure that their global supply chains are free of minerals used to fund violence in the Great Lakes region of central Africa.

Yet the previous day, Intel, the major computer hardware manufacturer, announced the world’s first product formally dubbed free of such materials, stating that its microprocessors would no longer use “conflict minerals”. The announcement highlights trends that advocates of greater supply chain accountability say are already well underway, and which they suggest belie parts of the legal case against the rule. Continue reading

Time for an Energy Change

Sisters of the Holy Child

Growing evidence of radioactive contamination in DRC

DW.de

 A view of Lubumbashi with a hill caused by smelting in the background

A view of Lubumbashi with a hill caused by smelting in the background

Human rights activists say uranium is being mined illegally in DRC. Doctors record an increase in the number of pre-birth deformities in areas close to mines.

Kimilolo is a small settlement on the banks of the Kafubu River in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), just a short distance away from the provincial capital Lubumbashi. At first sight, all seems calm. Water from the river flows into artificial fishponds. For more than 10 years, human rights activist Jean-Claude Baka has been coming to the river to take water samples. The reason: more and more fish in the ponds have been dying and people in the surrounding area have been falling ill, some have died. Baka wants to find out why. He suspects the reason is radioactive contamination. But to find proof is an extremely risky business, he says. Continue reading

When to Say No

New York Times

The State Department’s latest environmental assessment of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline makes no recommendation about whether President Obama should approve it. Here is ours. He should say no, and for one overriding reason: A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem.

The 875-mile pipeline avoids the route of an earlier proposal that traversed the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills of Nebraska and threatened an important aquifer. It would carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to pipelines in the United States and then onward to refineries on the Gulf Coast. From there, most of the fuel would be sent abroad. Continue reading

Peru: Undermining Justice

Al Jazeera

If multinationals will do anything to control the public debate, how can indigenous peoples ever assert their rights?

With global demand for natural resources increasing year on year, some of the world’s poorest communities are having to fight hard to protect their environment and way of life. When protests and direct action do not work, many will try and get redress through the courts.

But when multinational companies decide that the costs of settling such cases are far less than the huge profits on offer, is justice being undermined? Continue reading

Keystone XL decision will define Barack Obama’s legacy on climate change

The Guardian

Barack Obama is being urged by green groups to throw out Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Barack Obama is being urged by green groups to throw out Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Does the president have courage to say ‘no’ to a project that will lock us into decades of dependency on this dirty energy?

Very few of us have the opportunity in life to look forward to our legacy. However, sometimes events occur that we just know will shape how history will judge us.

One of those events is about to happen to President Barack Obama. This year, his administration is expected to make a decision on whether to allow the construction of a massive pipeline that would be used to export tar sands from Alberta, Keystone XL pipeline would essentially bisect the United States to bring the tar substance (bitumen) to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. From there, it could be exported around the world. Continue reading

Shell Case Shows Failure of Nigerian Judiciary

Waibite Amazi, a fisherman in Nigeria's troubled oil-rich delta region, spreads out his net outside his homestead, Nigeria. Farming and fishing is the main source of livelihood for the impoverished, rural population here. Courtesy: Dulue Mbachu/IRIN
Waibite Amazi, a fisherman in Nigeria’s troubled oil-rich delta region, spreads out his net outside his homestead, Nigeria. Farming and fishing is the main source of livelihood for the impoverished, rural population here. Courtesy: Dulue Mbachu/IRIN

By Toye Olori

LAGOS, Nigeria, Jan 31 2013 (IPS) – The decision by The Hague over Shell’s liability for polluting in the Niger Delta shows that justice is possible – but it is extremely hard to achieve if you are taking on a massive multinational, says Amnesty International’s Africa programme director Audrey Gaughran.

While The Hague dismissed most of the landmark case brought by the four Nigerian farmers and environmental pressure group, Friends of the Earth, against a subsidiary of international oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, the judges ordered Shell Nigeria to compensate one farmer for breach of duty of care.

Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company, is the largest oil and gas company in Nigeria, Africa’s top energy producer, which produces more than one million barrels of oil per day. Continue reading

A note repudiating the criminal action of the Federal Police in the Munduruku Indian Village Teles Pires

Source: Indian Mission Council (CIMI)

Cimi comes before the people to publicly manifest vehement repugnance at the violent action and murder committed by the Federal Police during the operation called El Dorado. Using the pretext of carrying out judicial orders which determined the destruction of mining balsas in the Teles Pires River and sites of illegal mining, the commander of the operation, Antonio Carlos Muriel Sanchez, led the invasion on November 7, 2012 of the Indian Village Teles Pires, in the Jacareacanga county, state of Pará. According to declarations made in the Federal Public Ministry, there the police practiced all sorts of atrocities, such as: beatings, murder, attempted murder, destruction of houses, the school, the health station, cell phones, computers, the short wave radio, canoes and fishing boats e as balsas used for mining. Now the Indians are not able to fish, porque the river is totally polluted by the fuel in the balsas destroyed by the Federal Police. Continue reading

Bishops and Extractive Industries: A Human Face of Mining

Huffington Post

In far flung corners of the world, religious leaders are protesting against mining companies and projects. What are their complaints? In Guatemala, they argue that gold mining poisons the water table, in Chad that painfully negotiated revenues that promised to ease the pain of poverty are nowhere in sight, in Ecuador that oil drilling devastates the landscape, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Nigeria that mining feeds devastating conflicts, in Ghana that mining in forest reserves threatens animal and plant species, in India that it strips indigenous people of their land rights, and in Peru that it pollutes lakes and rivers. The litany goes on and on but the underlying story told is one of broken promises, of powerful companies for whom profit is their God, and of a wounded planet whose land resources are despoiled with little to show, harming the people who live nearby. Continue reading