Category Archives: Extractive Industries

Peru declares state of emergency over mining violence

CNN
By Brian Walker

Peru declared a state of emergency in two provinces starting Saturday after protests against a mining project turned violent.

Members of the National Federation of Metallurgical, Mining, Iron and Steel industries of Peru shout slogans as they march towards the Congress in Lima on Tuesday, May 19.
Members of the National Federation of Metallurgical, Mining, Iron and Steel industries of Peru shout slogans as they march towards the Congress in Lima on Tuesday, May 19.

“The government has announced a declaration of a state of emergency in all the districts in Islay, Mollendo for 60 days,” the presidency announced Friday night.

“The government of President (Ollanta) Humala will defend the constitution firmly and forcefully for the right of all the people of Peru to live in peace,” the announcement continued.

National police and the armed forces will be called in to maintain order, it said.

Video showed at least one protester who appeared to be dead from wounds to the head at the Tia Maria copper mine project site. Others battled with police who lobbed tear gas at them. More…

Stopping the mine – Xeni Gwet’in leader wins Environmental Prize

NEW INTERNATIONALIST EASIER ENGLISH WIKI
newint.org

Marilyn Baptiste, leader of the Xeni Gwet’in. © Goldman Environmental Prize
Marilyn Baptiste, leader of the Xeni Gwet’in. © Goldman Environmental Prize

Marilyn Baptiste of British Columbia, Canada has won the Goldman Environmental Prize. She stopped the Taseko Mines gold mining project.

We are very happy that Marilyn Baptiste, leader of the Xeni Gwet’in has won the Goldman Environmental Prize. This is the biggest prize in the world for environmental activism. She stopped Taseko Mines’ Prosperity gold and copper mine.

Marilyn led the successful campaign to protect her community from the Prosperity mine. The mining project would be the worst kind of mining. It would destroy the beautiful First Nations’ lands and Fish Lake (Teztan Biny), full of fish.

If this plan had succeeded, many other similar mines would have been planned. The Canadian government has a history of giving more importance to mining than indigenous rights and environmental protection.

Industry, governments and local municipalities all supported the Prosperity plan. So it was a surprise to many people that it was not allowed. This shows the power of community protest.

Marilyn Baptiste led the fight. She had just been chosen as Chief of the Xeni Gwet’in. She led the environmental, cultural and economic studies to take to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s review group. More…

Peru deploys military to area of deadly anti-mining protests

by Latin Correspondent

Peruvian soldiers: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
Peruvian soldiers: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Peru’s government has dispatched troops to a violence-wracked southern coastal valley where protests against a copper mining project have claimed the lives of two civilians and a police officer.

Defense Minister Jakke Valakivi told reporters Sunday that the 500 troops sent to reinforce 2,000 police would guard strategic locations including bridges and gas stations.

Two civilians have been killed by police bullets since protests began in late March against the $1.4 billion Tía María project of Mexican-owned Southern Peru Copper. On Saturday, a police officer died. His skull had been fractured by a rock.

Farmers fear the project would contaminate their crops. More...

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Corporations vs. communities: a tale of two meetings

New Internationalist

As often was the case in colonial times, the corporate agenda in Africa is today often disguised as paternalistic benevolence. Friendly sounding projects such as the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the DfID (Britain’s Department for International Development)-supported New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition promise to eliminate hunger by creating the conditions that will bring new corporate technologies and more big business investment to African agriculture.

By Morten Thaysen

Campaigners protest outside the meeting of the Gates Foundation and USAID. Global Justice Now under a Creative Commons License
Campaigners protest outside the meeting of the Gates Foundation and USAID. Global Justice Now under a Creative Commons License

This week the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID hosted a meeting in London with big agribusinesses to discuss strategies to increase corporate control over seeds in Africa. The location of the meeting was secret. So was the agenda. Attendance was strictly invite-only and nobody who even came close to representing African small farmers was invited. Continue reading Corporations vs. communities: a tale of two meetings

Meet the Company Suing El Salvador for the Right to Poison Its Water

Other Words

In an obscure World Bank court, a multinational mining firm is suing El Salvador for attempting to protect its citizens from deadly mining pollution.

By Robin Broad and John Cavanagh

Salvadorans protest in favor of a ban on all mineral mining. (Photo: laurizza / Flickr)
Salvadorans protest in favor of a ban on all mineral mining. (Photo: laurizza / Flickr)

An obscure tribunal housed at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. will soon decide the fate of millions of people.

At issue is whether a government should be punished for refusing to let a foreign mining company operate because it wants to protect its main source of water.

The case pits El Salvador’s government against a Canadian gold-mining company that recently became part of a larger Australian-based corporation. When OceanaGold bought Pacific Rim last year, it identified the Salvadoran mining prospects as a key asset, even though gold prices have sunk by more than a third from their 2011 high of more than $1,900 an ounce.
Continue reading Meet the Company Suing El Salvador for the Right to Poison Its Water

Africa Activists Urge Obama to Act on Extractive Industries Law

IPS

By Jim Lobe

Artisanal diamond miners at work in the alluvial diamond mines around the eastern town of Koidu, Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS
Artisanal diamond miners at work in the alluvial diamond mines around the eastern town of Koidu, Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

As the three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit got underway here Monday, anti-corruption activists urged President Barack Obama to prod a key U.S. agency to issue long-awaited regulations requiring oil, gas, and mining companies to publish all payments they make in countries where they operate.

“The companies need to be held accountable, and we would ask President Obama to also support us in this message,” said Ali Idrissa, the national co-ordinator of Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez (Publish What You Pay, or PWYP), in Niger, a country rich in uranium and iron deposits.

Anti-corruption activists are losing patience with what they see as pressure by the extractive industries to prevent the emergence of tough new disclosure requirements.
“We need to look at the entire production chain of these extractive industries; we need to continue putting pressure on this industry …so we can fight poverty and corruption and ensure we have a better development,” he added.

Idrissa, one of scores of African activists who have descended on Washington for this week’s unprecedented gathering, was speaking at a forum sponsored by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam America, among other groups, on civil society efforts to promote government and corporate transparency and accountability on the continent. Continue reading Africa Activists Urge Obama to Act on Extractive Industries Law