A couple of interesting developments and articles relating to resource rights struggles in Latin America:
1) A protest took place today in front of the World Bank regarding the Pacific Rim ICSID case against the government of El Salvador. A letter was delivered on behalf of 243 international civil society organizations representing hundreds of millions of people.
2)A community in Costa Rica managed to get a Canadian gold mining concession canceled. The transnational company, Infinite Gold, has had its concession definitively cancelled and will be required to pay for the damages it has done to the environment. The company has said it has not ruled out taking the case to international courts.
4) In Peru, communities in Cajamarca have been facing a hard time battling the Conga gold mining concession, owned by U.S.-based Newmont. Mine protest leaders were recently detained for 10 hours by Peruvian counterterrorism police with no charge.
5) Peru has, however decided to put a ten-year ban on its bringing genetically modified seeds into the country, and farming with genetically modified seeds. There is an exception being made for “derived products that have been imported with the purpose of direct human or animal consumption, or with the aim of processing those products,”(our translation) so it appears that the ban is more concerned with preserving Peru’s biodiversity than potential human health concerns. That said, food products that do have GMOs will be required to be labelled as such, and the Peruvian government is saying that the ten year ban will give them enough time to scientifically study the effects of GMO products. Regions are allowed to declare themselves GMO-free zones, which Lima has now done.