This section focuses on the political economy of mining in Latin America and Canadian investments there.

 

Esta sección se centra en la economía política de la minería y las inversiones canadienses en América Latina. 

 

Mining Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Informes de Politícas y Docuementos de Trabajo sobre Minería

Updates
This investigation was undertaken by Guatemalan investigative journalist Luis Solano, and commissioned by the International Platform Against Impunity in Central America and MiningWatch Canada. The research was carried out with assistance from the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) and local residents in the departments of Santa Rosa and Jalapa, Guatemala whose names will remain confidential.

by Pablo Heidrich and Matt Blundell

A popular perception of mining is that of an enclave industry with few lasting effects on local economies, in part due to its negligible employment impact. Another is that most mining jobs go to foreigners or non-locals because they require highly specialized skills. Analysis of a database of 66 mines in operation under Canadian ownership partially corroborates those views. Overall, these are responsible for approximately 63,000 jobs across the region in an industry that over all employs less than 1 per cent of the labour force in the host countries. Almost all labour in those mines, however, is done by nationals or locals earning high wages and the skills required for most positions are similar to those used in construction, mechanical manufacturing, and metal manufacturing.

By Pablo Heidrich and Catalina Prada
 
This policy brief examines the different types of taxes applied to large scale mining in Latin America, the region where Canadian firms are most active around the world, and elaborates on their positive and negative effects on host- countries, their governments and foreign investors. 
 

News from the Web

Noticias en Internet

Updates
By PETER MAZEREEUW
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 12:00 AM
The Liberal government is “seriously reviewing” the creation of an ombudsperson to investigate Canadian companies implicated in wrongdoing abroad, says Canada’s corporate social responsibility counsellor for the extractive sector, Jeffrey Davidson.
After a year of getting its feet wet and dealing with top priorities, the government has turned its attention to Mr. Davidson’s office and the corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies of the previous Conservative government, he said in an interview with The Hill Times last week.
“[They’re] working through how they want to deal with this whole issue: the CSR issue, the conduct of Canadian companies overseas, not just in the extractives, but across sectors, and what they should do…above and beyond what exists,” he said.
NY Times
MONTREAL — “Canada is back,” says Justin Trudeau, the charismatic and bilingual prime minister of Canada, at international gatherings, seeking to showcase the imprint he wants to put on Canadian foreign policy in contrast to that of his predecessor, Stephen Harper. The prime minister has used very precise terms in his speeches: justice, environmental care, democracy and human rights. He even dared to invoke some of them during his official visit to China in September, although the Chinese did not applaud him for it.
By Jean Symes, The Hill Times, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016
The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability has just released proposed legislation that would accomplish just that.
At least 44 people killed. More than 400 people injured. Hundreds more repressed and criminalized for defending their land, their health, and their livelihoods.
These figures are not from a war, although often it feels that way to those whose lives are being described.
Rather, these shocking details of human rights abuses were all connected with the activities of Canadian mining companies, throughout 13 countries in Latin America. And they represent barely the “tip of the iceberg.”
This according to The “Canada Brand,” a report released last week by the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project out of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Today, the British Columbia Court of Appeals in Vancouver, Canada will revisit a procedural motion in the case of seven Guatemalans who have brought a civil suit for battery and negligence against Tahoe Resources. The suit concerns the mining company’s role in a violent attack in April 2013, when Tahoe’s private security opened fire on peaceful protesters outside the controversial Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala. Video footage shows that the protestors were shot at close range while attempting to flee.

The “Canada Brand”: Violence and Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America
 

Executive Summary
The Justice and Corporate Accountability Project has documented troubling incidents of violence associated with Canadian mining companies in Latin America. In general, neither the Canadian government nor industry are monitoring or reporting on these incidents.

What we found about the degree of violence and criminalization from 2000-2015.

Protesters set fire to mining camp in southern Peru Photo credit: Correo / Rudy Huallpa
Hundreds of protesters opposed to mining in their rural province fought police and set fire to a Canadian-owned exploration camp in the southern state of Puno on Tuesday.
Residents of the Orurillo district in Puno’s Melgar province announced a two-day protest for Tuesday and Wednesday against exploration activities by Solex del Peru, a subsidiary of Canadian miner Caracara Silver.
“They want to get a mining job which affects the district. They’ve started with the mining camp without conducing informational workshops, so on Tuesday and Wednesday a strike will take place in Orurillo,” Ricardo Noriega, an environmental lawyer leading the movement, told Correo. Noriega added that the strike would be peaceful and protesters would not try to block roads.
“But we must also be ready so nothing happens where, as we have seen, the police themselves infiltrate [the protest] to commit violent acts,” Noriega said.
Canadá está de regreso”, ha dicho Justin Trudeau —carismático y bilingüe— en reuniones internacionales, como para mostrar la impronta que quiere darle a la política exterior canadiense respecto de la de su predecesor, Stephen Harper. El primer ministro de Canadá ha empleado en sus discursos términos muy precisos: justicia, cuidado medioambiental, democracia, derechos humanos. Incluso se atrevió a evocar alguno de ellos en su visita oficial a China hace algunas semanas, pero los chinos no lo aplaudieron por eso, sino por sus sonrisas y propuestas de negocios.
 
Rusoro Mining declared victory yesterday in its four-year legal battle with the government of Venezuela over the nationalization of the gold industry in 2011. The company was awarded US$1.2 billion ($1.5B) by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
The dispute began in 2011, when then-president Hugo Chavez nationalized the Venezuelan gold industry. Despite initially cooperating with the government, Rusoro later claimed that its right to mine was expropriated without compensation. In 2012, the company launched an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) case against Venezuela under the terms of the Canada-Venezuela Foreign Investment Protection Agreement, demanding $3 billion from the government for ending its mining concessions.

Mexico's environmental prosecutor said it had kept regular oversight of the country's largest gold mine, days after a Reuters report on a prolonged leak of contaminated water there prompted activists to accuse the agency of failing its mandate.

Environmental prosecutor Profepa said that since 2013 it had completed five "administrative proceedings" on the Penasquito mine in Zacatecas state, which is owned by Canada's Goldcorp Inc.

It did not say whether the proceedings were related to the leak

Father Melo fears he may soon be a target of assassination. His home country is both one of the most dangerous in the world for activists and fertile ground for Canadian investment.