With the world's attention focused on the on-again off-again genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt and his head of military intelligence in Guatemala City, there has been little international reporting on other events in the Central American nation. Meanwhile, as the trial continues, conflicts involving rural communities and Canadian mining companies are escalating, to the point that a State of Siege was declared last night.
By Ollantay Itzamná - Znet
President Otto Perez Molina...decreed, this past May 1, the second state of siege of his term in office. This time, it was to repress indigenous people, the Xinca, in the municipalities of Jalapa and Mataquescuintal...and in Casillas and San Rafael Las Flores...and to protect the “investments” of the Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources (the San Rafael mine).
By Dawn Paley - April 23, 2013
Ismael and his wife Manuela...had faced-off against many powerful forces: banks, governments, and wealthy well drillers. But something was different this time. Tensions rose quickly; the conflict heated up, and in a matter of months Manuela and Ismael were dead. In the months before he was killed, Solorio denounced death threats he received and aggression by people he said were paid by the mining company, and demanded the government provide protection. His requests were ignored.
By Yves Engler - April 2nd, 2013
Two recent developments within corporate Canada help explain Stephan Harper’s more imperialistic foreign policy...Canada’s growing ‘petro state’ has driven a more extreme, anti-internationalist, foreign policy...Another development that helps explain the Conservatives more aggressive foreign policy is the incredible growth in Canada’s mining sector.
By Ramsey Hart - February 23, 2013
Inspired by their own traditions and teachings...members of Neskonlith have drafted a water declaration stating the importance and sanctity of their watersheds and their opposition to mining in the territory. The Secwepemc women who spearheaded drafting the declaration are now circulating it throughout the community to build grassroots support.
“Land Grabbing” — News from International Capitalism States Buy Up Other States’ Territories for the Cultivation of ‘Strategic Agricultural Goods’ — Without Being Invited by the Established Global Economic Powers
When professional observers of global business practices are currently critically examining the “land grabbing” by some political actors who had previously escaped scrutiny, and feel reminded of a “bygone era of colonialism,” this is, regarded objectively, a bad joke. On the other hand, it is also an index that in our free economic world order not everybody is allowed to do just anything.
By Andrew Gavin Marshall - December 18, 2012
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper once said, “You won’t recognize Canada when I get through with it.” With multiple “free trade” agreements under way, expanded corporate rights, expropriation of vast amounts of natural resources, Canada is becoming one of the world’s foremost corporate colonies, unrecognizable from what Canadians once imagined our nation to be.
By Grahame Russell - December 12, 2012
On December 7 and 8, 2012, there was yet another act of mining-related aggression against community members of San Jose del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc, 45 minutes outside of Guatemala City, who are defending their environment and community well-being...Community members have been legally and peacefully engaging in a nine-month encampment at a place known as “La Puya” by the entrance to the proposed “El Tambor” mine site.
By Yves Engler - December 11, 2012
Thank you Julian Fantino...The International Co-operation Minister caused a ruckus last week when he said that the Canadian International Development Agency should actively promote the country’s interests abroad rather than primarily focus on poverty reduction...While some commentators suggested the former Toronto police chief stuck his foot in his mouth, we should thank Fantino for his comments because they raise some important questions that Canadians seldom talk about.
By David Camfield - Friday, 23 November 2012
Is it any surprise that some Chinese workers are willing to leave their homes...to work in a remote area of BC for wages that are higher than they would make in China? Treating some people as less deserving of jobs than others simply because they don't hold Canadian passports devalues their lives. It's an invitation to immigrant-bashing and racism...Instead of trying to exclude Chinese workers, BC unions should be thinking about how to build links of solidarity with them.
By Dawn Paley - November 21, 2012
“I’m going to Canada with high spirits, in hopes that [Hudbay Minerals] recognizes the harm that they have done to me,” Chub told The Dominion. “I want justice.” Not only has Chub been confined to a wheelchair since 2009, but he still feels threatened by company workers who park in front of his house and monitor his movements. When he wheels himself onto the plane to Canada, it will be his first time leaving Guatemala.
By Chris Marsden - WSWS
The police and [Congress of South African Trade Unions] are working in tandem as agents of the mining companies and the African National Congress (ANC)-led government. Most of the 80,000-100,000 miners involved in strike action in recent weeks have been driven back to work by threats of mass sackings and a sellout organized by COSATU and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Those defying the drive back to work have faced sackings, beatings, arrests and murder.
By Bill Van Auken - 1 November 2012
Mine security guards shot and killed two striking coal miners in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, amid continuing tensions and clashes in South Africa’s mining sector...The killings will no doubt inflame the already bitter struggle that has pitted tens of thousands of miners across the country against the mining companies, the ANC government and the official miners’ union, the NUM.
By Amandla! - August 21, 2012
No event since the end of Apartheid sums up the shallowness of the transformation in this country like the Marikana massacre. What occurred will be debated for years. It is already clear the mineworkers will be blamed for being violent. The mineworkers will be painted as savages. Yet, the fact is that heavily armed police with live ammunition brutally shot and killed over 35 mineworkers. Many more are injured. Some will die of their wounds. Another 10 workers had been killed just prior to this massacre.
By Grahame Russell - Znet
Increasingly, over the past few years, information has been published about serious human rights violations and health and environmental harms being caused in Guatemala by (mainly) Canadian mining company operations...It is not possible to understand how these violations and harms occur, and will continue to occur, without understanding the political context. In short, global mining companies profit financially and benefit directly from the fundamental lack of democracy and the rule of law in Guatemala, both historically and on-going today.