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The Meso American Movement against the Extractive Model, M4, is denouncing and demanding Canadian company Goldcorp to be held accountable for the health and environmental impacts of their mines in several parts of Latin America.
M4, which is part of the “Goldcorp makes me sick” campaign, is also demanding governmental and non-governmental authorities annul the “prizes” granted to the company, which will have its annual shareholder´s meeting this Thursday.
The movement wrote a letter addressed to, among others, Goldcorp´s shareholders, the governments of Canada, the US, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, the Mexican Environment Protection Federal Agency and the international public opinion. The document is available for signing here: http://www.movimientom4.org/2014/04/accion-de-denuncia-goldcorp-no-merece-premios-exigimos-justicia/
The letter makes reference to hundreds of testimonies, scientific conclusions, claims before tribunals, interviews and lab tests that show how Goldcorp repeatedly attacks the human rights of entire communities. It focuses on the company´s attacks against the human right to water and sanitation, the right to a healthy environment and the right to health. The M4 also makes reference to the use of millions of litres of water and its pollution, to the heavy metals present in the air with toxic effects on the environment and human health, and the complaints of Honduran, Guatemalan and Mexican populations over the increase of respiratory and skin diseases that appeared when Goldcorp operations started.
“Their megaprojects deforest, kill biodiversity, destroy archeological monuments, sacred places for indigenous peoples, violate environmental protection and biodiversity conservation rights and impoverish communities”, states the letter issued by the M4. “Their treatment towards communities is filled with discrimination and poor working conditions for workers, which have caused deaths by accidents or explosions, or unjustified firings when the workers have health problems caused by working at the mine”.
In summary, according to M4, GoldCorp violates national and international laws related to human rights, grabs lands illegally and is being left unpunished despite legal resolutions against it. It is also violating clauses of agreements established with communities, it is violating their collective rights by not carrying out prior, free and informed consultation processes. “And it threatens, intimidates, criminalizes and divides communities and the people rejecting it”.
The action also mentions several prizes awarded to Goldcorp related to a supposed fulfillment of “corporate responsibility” and “respect towards sustainability” which are incomprehensible to the eyes of communities who live where the company´s projects are installed. “Even more incomprehensible is the fact that seven of its mines are certified to comply with the “International Cyanide Management Code”, while they break leaching pools in their mining projects, such as in Carrizalillo, Mexico (Guerrero state) where two people have died due to poisoning with this dangerous component. (See video below about the consequences of Goldcorp in Carrizalillo – in Spanish).
The letter also demand the institutions involved to annul the prizes awarded to Goldcorp and to cancel all licenses given to the company due to the effects of its mining megaprojets in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. They also demand justice: “Instead of talking about Corporate Social Responsibility, let´s talk about Corporate Accountability! Society is sick of so much simulation”, states the letter.
On April 1st, El Carrizalillo community members blocked access to Los Filos gold project of Goldcorp, since the leasing contract expired on March 31st. The peasants demanded a fair renegotiation or a closing and post closing plan for the mining company which has been operating in El Carrizalillo for ten years.
The gold project has caused serious environmental and health impacts in the area. One of the peasants mobilizing, Julio, said to Real World Radio that around “2000-2500 hectares have been completely destroyed by these impacts”.
El 16 de abril, tras los anuncios por parte del presidente nicaragüense Daniel Ortega de reformas al Instituto Nicaragüense de Seguridad Social (INSS) que suponían nuevas tasas de aportes al seguro social, cientos de personas salieron a las calles para manifestarse en contra de la medida. La represión policial causó la muerte de varios estudiantes y se profundizó una crisis sin precedentes para los tiempos de este gobierno sandinista. Ya se cuentan más de 170 personas asesinadas, tanto de los opositores como de quienes apoyan al oficialismo.
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