Time for Canada to Take Action on the Mining Industry’s Human Rights Abuses

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Global Conversations


On January 17 2007, a half-dozen armed men claiming to work for Hudbay Mineral Inc., a Canadian mining corporation, stormed the one-room house of a woman living in Lote Ocho Guatemala. The men took turns raping her, before dragging her from her home and setting it on fire. There were ten other reported incidents of gang rape in the community that day, and many other homes were torched.

Two years later, on June 18 2009, the body of Marcela Rivera, a Salvadoran political activist and opponent of a proposed mine from the Canadian Pacific Rim Mining Corporation, was found dead in a well with his fingernails removed and indications that he had been strangled to death. On December 29 of that year, another prominent opponent of the mine, eight-months pregnant at the time, was assassinated in front of her two-year old son.

These are only a few of the incidents described in a recent report from Osgoode Hall Law School called “The Canada Brand: Violence and Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America.” The report, compiled by Law Professor Shin Imai with assistance from law students at Osgoode, McGill, and Harvard, documents 44 deaths, 403 injuries, and 709 cases of criminalization, including arrests, detentions, and charges, that are in some way connected to Canadian mining operations in the region.