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24 de julio de 2012 | | | | |


The Health Tribunal of Guatemala as an Instrument

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Mining corporations, despite accusations and demands from the communities, deny the health impacts of their operations, while the governments ignore these conflicts, said Cesar Padilla, coordinator of the Latin American Mining Conflict Watch (OCMAL).

“It’s the governments’ responsibility to solve these conflicts”, said the activists.

OCMAL is a network of social organizations from Mexico to Argentina dedicated to the follow-up of mining conflicts, tasked with supporting communities that confront the companies and governments. It handles a data base of 165 conflicts.

Padilla was one of the judges at the Peoples’ International Health Tribunal held from July 14 to 15 in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala, to expose the consequences of the actions of Canadian mining corporation Goldcorp in Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Real World Radio’s collaborator from COECOCEIBA-Friends of the Earth Costa Rica, interviewed Padilla at the Tribunal.

The Tribunal is a political, ethical and not legally binding court that contributed to compiling information about Goldcorp’s impacts in communities of San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Valle de Siria (Honduras) and Carrizalillo (Mexico), where Goldcorp’s Marlin, San Martín and Los Filos mines are located.

“We made our contribution. We tried to be as objective as possible, but also clear and concise to leave the tribunal as an instrument that cannot be morally or ethically ignored” said Padilla. “The aim is that tribunal is a grassroots instrument for the communities, that it contributes to their resistance”, he said.

The jury was made up by internationally renowned people from different fields. The ruling demanded Goldcorp to suspend all its operations in Central America and guarantee that these atrocities are not repeated in Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. The judges also demanded the company to compensate the communities and the environment for the terrible damage it caused.

“We condemn the complicit and irresponsible attitude of the governments for failing to ensure the enforcement of the people’s rights”, reads the ruling, which also accused the Canadian government of being accomplice and of supporting and promoting irresponsible mining investments in Central America.

The communities affected by Goldcorp said they have suffered skin problems, abortions, infertility, preterm births, malformations, hearing problems, gastro-intestinal problems, nervous problems and intoxication leading to death.

Padilla highlighted that the Tribunal in San Miguel Ixtahuacán was the first one to try to establish in a non scientific way, the effects of mining on health. “We hope that this process will open the door for more reports of health problems and to make pressure on governments to deal with this and condemn the mining corporations”, said the leader.

Photo: Grace García, COECOCEIBA – Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica.

(CC) 2012 Radio Mundo Real


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