This post is going to look different. The story is unfortunately a familiar one.
There has been resistance including highway and railway lines being blockaded.
Community leaders and human rights defenders are already paying the highest price – their lives – for their opposition to the large-scale corporate mining project.
It's been 4 1/2 years since a report by Mining Watch found that Canadian based mining companies in Colombia,
"...control the local politics and civilian economy through intimidation of the locals, that they have been responsible for massive human rights violations and displacements... and that according to representatives of the displaced communities “they had been displaced by armed actors because of interest by some companies to mine for gold”. Reports are quoted that “indicate that soldiers have told local residents that its operations are designed to protect the interests of international mining companies in the area”.The Public Defender’s office is at risk from the local paramilitaries,the Aguilas Negras, because they state “you are against the multinationals ….and we are there to pave the way for the company’s arrival”. Trade union executives (of FEDEAGROBISMOL) and local activists opposed to the activities of the company have been served death threats by the paramilitaries.
The report concludes that the mining activity may encourage and strengthen the paramilitaries and that the company may be benefiting from the human rights violations of those who oppose its activities.
The report informs us that 87% of forced displacements, 82% of human rights violations and 83% of murders of trade union leaders in Colombia have occurred in resource rich locations."
As Mining Watch Canada pointed out last month:
It is time to recognize that the emperor has no clothes. Large-scale mining is still what it has always been, a business with huge returns for a very small elite, and for home countries such as Canada, based on extracting non-renewable and finite wealth from the earth, primarily in poor host countries.
The local environmental, social and economic impacts during and after mining are still devastating with more losers than winners, particularly in developing countries and in remote and vulnerable communities in developed countries. These impacts exacerbate poverty in ways not addressed by typical project-level CSR efforts. Nor do the newer “governance initiatives” associated with the Andean Initiative and the CIIEID address the realities of the resource curse as these efforts appear to be primarily aimed at smoothing the way for Canadian companies to gain conflict-free and cheap access to overseas ore bodies.
The following is a bit more personal.
It is from Mi Mundo by way of Upside Down World.