Mining-Related Developments

First Summit of M4: the Mesoamerican Movement against Extractive Mining 

This meeting took place from January 26th-29th, in which anti-mining and environmental groups from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama came together in Valle de Siria, Honduras. They also met with representatives of solidarity groups from the United States and Canada. The meeting marked a new approach, a more cohesive and regional way of organizing for groups fighting mining and the extractive industry model. They issued a declaration, of which some key points are translated below: 

” The Mesoamerican movement commits to a coordinated struggle to demand the cancellation of mining concessions which have been imposed without the consent of the people, the withdrawal of companies from our affected communities and a comprehensive payment for all damage they have caused.”
 “We denounce the repression and harassment that our brothers and sisters have suffered in the fight to defend their territories, in particular in El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala.”
 “We demand respect for the decisions of communities regarding their land, for the right to consultation, and for the implementation of international conventions in favor of human and environmental rights which our countries have signed.”
 “We denounce the interference of transnational corporations and embassies such as that of the United States and Canada in promoting legal reforms around mining which privilege the interests of transnationals without taking into account the proposals of organizations and communities, as is the case in Panama, Honduras, and Guatemala.”

Peruvian Government will fight illegal mining: Justice Minister Juan Jimenez Mayor said the country’s Public Ministry and National Police now had the power to seize property used in illegal mining activities, as well as the power to destroy any infrastructure if it is affecting the environment. 

BankTrack releases information on 93 banks’ coal financing– “This allows you to have access [to] and know which are the financiers of a coal company you’re campaigning on, or…which coal companies the bank(s) you’re campaigning on have financed since 2005.” 

OECD developments with Norweigan Intex case: OECD Watch reports that complaints that were lodged in 2009 at the OECD against a Norwegian-based company, Intex Resources, have received a response from the Norwegian National Point of Contact (NPC).  The complaint was in regard to abuses at the Mindoro Nickel mine project in the Philippines, which stated that improper consultations with the surrounding indigenous groups had been carried out, it had downplayed the anticipated environmental damage the mine would cause, and that in order to obtain its exploration permit, Intex had engaged in bribery. The Norwegian NPC found the consultation that was carried out to be lacking:

“On the basis of the OECD Guidelines, the NCP applied a broad interpretation of “consultation” and states that it does not only include those that inhabit a specific land, but also those who use it according to their tradition and culture. In the view of the NCP, Intex should have systematically investigated how many indigenous people would be affected by their activities and consult them.” 

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Seeks to be a clearinghouse for information around resource rights-related issues, to better link and inform. This is a work in progress, more to come.
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