For immediate release
An international Peoples’ Tribunal to examine the actions of the Canadian Mining Industry and the Canadian Government
Witnesses from Latin America will testify on human rights violations and environmental damages
MONTRÉAL, May 29th 2014. From May 29th to June 1st a session of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal will be held in Montreal. An international jury will analyze declarations of more than 20 experts and witnesses linked to accusations of rights violations and environmental damages perpetrated by Canadian mining companies and involving the Canadian government in Latin America, more precisely in Chili, in Colombia, in Guatemala, in Honduras, and in Mexico.
Gianni Tognoni, secretary of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, based in Italy, explains that in “over three decades of activities, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal has supported around forty peoples’ struggles against violations of their fundamental rights. We believe it is crucial today to bring light upon the activities of the Canadian mining industry in Latin America”.
“Canada is currently the most important actor of the international mining industry: the hearing of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is taking place at the right moment for us to examine the role of our government in this development, which is the cause of many conflicts”, according to Claire Doran, co-spokesperson of the event.
Maude Barlow, member of the jury and president of the Canadians’ Council is “concerned by the impacts of mining projects on water, notably in the case of open pit mines using chemical products to extract minerals, especially in areas where local communities have difficult access to water”.
“Mining projects in the Americas are mostly taking place on indigenous territory. Our peoples, and our women in particular, are often the first to be affected by the impacts of mining activities on health, the environment and food security”, says Viviane Michel, president of Quebec Native Women.
“The Pascua Lama mine represents a threat to my people. I am in Canada to condemn the lack of respect that companies such as Barrick Gold and Goldcorp show towards our right to consent as indigenous people and the lack of consideration toward our lifestyles, our community decision taking processes and decisions”, adds Sergio Campusano, president of the Diaguita Huascualtino community in Chili.
An evening of presentations on May 29th will open the tribunal. The members of the jury will hear testimonies on May 30th and 31st. The final judgement is to be delivered June 1st.
The complete program of the tribunal, biographies of witnesses, experts, spokespersons and prosecutors, as well as jury members are available online.
– 30 –
Source : Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal – Canada
For media enquiries, please contact: