The Guardian: Canadian mining doing serious environmental harm, the IACHR is told

InsightaaS: The Guardian is one of the world’s most respected news sources. Founded in 1821, it has stayed relevant by providing in-depth analysis of both local (UK) and global issues. In this post from David Hill’s Andes to the Amazon environmental blog, we see the combination of reportage and insight that makes the Guardian so well-regarded. Hill shines a light on a report stating that Canadian mining firms are “exploiting weak legal systems in Latin American countries and in Canada itself,” benefiting from Canadian government support as they commit human rights abuses and contaminate the environment. The piece takes a very balanced view, with input from Barrick Gold and the Canadian government as well as the report’s authors, allowing the reader to evaluate both the criticisms and the responses.

The growing role of Canadian mining companies across Latin America has been put under the spotlight at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington following the presentation of a damning report.

Mining operations by Canadian firms across nine Latin American countries are causing “serious environmental impacts” by destroying glaciers, contaminating water and rivers, and cutting down forest, according to the report, as well as forcibly displacing people, dividing and impoverishing communities, making false promises about economic benefits, endangering people’s health, and fraudulently acquiring property. Some who protest such projects have been killed or seriously wounded, it states, and others persecuted, threatened or accused of being terrorists.

“Criminal charges such as “sabotage”, “terrorism”, “rebellion”, “conspiracy” and “incitement to commit crime” have been made against social leaders and human rights defenders who oppose and resist the development of industry,” it states…

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