Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Campaign 2 - Contact Information

Tara Scurr
Fiona Koza

Business and Human Rights Campaigners (Vancouver)
604-294-5160 x103

Elizabeth Berton-Hunter
Media Relations (Toronto)
416-363-9933 x332

Canadian Extractives As Development Slideshow

    Locals from San Isidro, Cabañas, El Salvador, gather water in plastic containers. Canadian mining company Pacific Rim was slated to develop its El Dorado open pit gold mine in San Isidro, but the project’s exploitation license was revoked by the State in 2008 due to health and environmental concerns. In response, Pacific Rim tried to sue the Government of El Salvador under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The tiny Central American country has spent at least
    Locals from San Isidro, Cabañas, El Salvador, gather water in plastic containers. Canadian mining company Pacific Rim was slated to develop its El Dorado open pit gold mine in San Isidro, but the project’s exploitation license was revoked by the State in 2008 due to health and environmental concerns. In response, Pacific Rim tried to sue the Government of El Salvador under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The tiny Central American country has spent at least
    Since the 2005 establishment of Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in the arid semi-desert municipality of Mazapil, Mexico, local communities have complained that Latin America’s largest gold producing mine has drastically diminished the scarce water sources available and created land disputes.
    Since the 2005 establishment of Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in the arid semi-desert municipality of Mazapil, Mexico, local communities have complained that Latin America’s largest gold producing mine has drastically diminished the scarce water sources available and created land disputes.
    Tailings pond in Bonanza, Nicaragua, where the waste product from Hemconic’s open-pit gold mine has accumulated over decades. Besides cyanide and heavy metals, this particular waste pond also contains dozens of barrels used to transport the cyanide needed to separate gold from the rock. On January 30th, 2010, an earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale cracked part of the containment wall that is supposed to keep the toxic waste product in the tailings pond from flooding the town. Seventy-f
    Tailings pond in Bonanza, Nicaragua, where the waste product from Hemconic’s open-pit gold mine has accumulated over decades. Besides cyanide and heavy metals, this particular waste pond also contains dozens of barrels used to transport the cyanide needed to separate gold from the rock. On January 30th, 2010, an earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale cracked part of the containment wall that is supposed to keep the toxic waste product in the tailings pond from flooding the town. Seventy-f
    The municipality from the mining town of Bonanza, RAAN, Nicaragua, uses empty cyanide barrels as public trashcans. The use of cyanide, a highly toxic substance, is used to extract gold from ore through an industrial process called cyanidation. This practice has been banned in many European countries and the United States.
    The municipality from the mining town of Bonanza, RAAN, Nicaragua, uses empty cyanide barrels as public trashcans. The use of cyanide, a highly toxic substance, is used to extract gold from ore through an industrial process called cyanidation. This practice has been banned in many European countries and the United States.
    On January 2007, five Q’eqchi’ Maya communities in El Estor and Panzós were illegally and violently evicted by hundreds of Guatemalan National Police officers and members of the Army. The local district attorney was flown in by a Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN) helicopter, to initiate the evictions. Here pictured, National Police officers close in on residents of Barrio La Union, El Estor.
    On January 2007, five Q’eqchi’ Maya communities in El Estor and Panzós were illegally and violently evicted by hundreds of Guatemalan National Police officers and members of the Army. The local district attorney was flown in by a Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN) helicopter, to initiate the evictions. Here pictured, National Police officers close in on residents of Barrio La Union, El Estor.
    Jesusa Ixtecoc Juarez pleads for her home as it is taken apart. On January 8th and 9th, 2007, the Guatemalan Nickel Company, ordered the forced eviction of five Q’eqchi’ Mayan communities around Lake Izabal in El Estor, Guatemala. Over 800 State security forces carried out the forced eviction destroying and even burning several huts in the indigenous communities who claim the territory as ancestral land.
    Jesusa Ixtecoc Juarez pleads for her home as it is taken apart. On January 8th and 9th, 2007, the Guatemalan Nickel Company, ordered the forced eviction of five Q’eqchi’ Mayan communities around Lake Izabal in El Estor, Guatemala. Over 800 State security forces carried out the forced eviction destroying and even burning several huts in the indigenous communities who claim the territory as ancestral land.
    While State forces watched, CGN employees belonging to the same Q’eqchi’ Maya ethnic group as the locals but from a different municipality, were bused in and ordered to burn homes in two of the five communities evicted on January 8th and 9th, 2007. Successive Canadian mining companies (INCO, Skye Resources and HudBay Minerals) have held the initial 385 km2 nickel-mining license from 1965 until late 2011. In 2011, HudBay Minerals sold the project to the Solway group, a Russian consortium.
    While State forces watched, CGN employees belonging to the same Q’eqchi’ Maya ethnic group as the locals but from a different municipality, were bused in and ordered to burn homes in two of the five communities evicted on January 8th and 9th, 2007. Successive Canadian mining companies (INCO, Skye Resources and HudBay Minerals) have held the initial 385 km2 nickel-mining license from 1965 until late 2011. In 2011, HudBay Minerals sold the project to the Solway group, a Russian consortium.
    Francisco Tiul Tut, an elder from Chichipate, El Estor, breaks down as his little house is burned down during the January 8, 2007, evictions. When confronted by human rights organizations regarding the violent evictions, former Canadian ambassador to Guatemala, Kenneth Cook, claimed these images of the eviction were taken during the 36-year civil war that ravaged Guatemala from 1960 to 1996. Cook also criticized a video of the events produced by Canadian filmmaker Steven Schnoor. Mr. Schnoor eve
    Francisco Tiul Tut, an elder from Chichipate, El Estor, breaks down as his little house is burned down during the January 8, 2007, evictions. When confronted by human rights organizations regarding the violent evictions, former Canadian ambassador to Guatemala, Kenneth Cook, claimed these images of the eviction were taken during the 36-year civil war that ravaged Guatemala from 1960 to 1996. Cook also criticized a video of the events produced by Canadian filmmaker Steven Schnoor. Mr. Schnoor eve
    Despite the evictions, the Q’eqchi’ Maya communities in El Estor and Panzós, Guatemala, continued to live on lands licensed to CGN. Adolfo Ich Chamán (centre), chairman of the Community Committee for Development (COCODE) of Barrio La Union community and a primary school teacher, was shot, hacked with a machete and killed on September 27, 2009 during a community protest of potential land evictions . Witnesses claim he was killed by private security guards subcontracted by the Guatemalan Nickel Co
    Despite the evictions, the Q’eqchi’ Maya communities in El Estor and Panzós, Guatemala, continued to live on lands licensed to CGN. Adolfo Ich Chamán (centre), chairman of the Community Committee for Development (COCODE) of Barrio La Union community and a primary school teacher, was shot, hacked with a machete and killed on September 27, 2009 during a community protest of potential land evictions . Witnesses claim he was killed by private security guards subcontracted by the Guatemalan Nickel Co
    Angelica Choc (left), widow of murdered local leader Adolfo Ich Chaman, and her sister Maria Choc, seek legal advice at the Committee for Peasant Union (CUC) office. Since security guards hired by the Canadian company are suspected of murdering Ich Chaman, Angelica Choc filed a landmark lawsuit in Canada, on her own behalf and as a representative of the estate of Adolfo Ich. The lawsuit alleges that the wrongful actions and omissions primarily committed by HudBay Minerals, and their employees, l
    Angelica Choc (left), widow of murdered local leader Adolfo Ich Chaman, and her sister Maria Choc, seek legal advice at the Committee for Peasant Union (CUC) office. Since security guards hired by the Canadian company are suspected of murdering Ich Chaman, Angelica Choc filed a landmark lawsuit in Canada, on her own behalf and as a representative of the estate of Adolfo Ich. The lawsuit alleges that the wrongful actions and omissions primarily committed by HudBay Minerals, and their employees, l
    Irma Leticia Mendez, from the Hamlet of Agel, San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala, had been living in her home for 13 years when suddenly, in 2006, the walls began to crack. She states: “The mining company says the fissures are due to the corn grinder I have. But it is due to the explosions underneath the ground.” Since Goldcorp’s Marlin gold mine began operations in 2004, over one hundred homes have begun to crack. The company claims the cracks and fissures are due to poor construction methods. In
    Irma Leticia Mendez, from the Hamlet of Agel, San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala, had been living in her home for 13 years when suddenly, in 2006, the walls began to crack. She states: “The mining company says the fissures are due to the corn grinder I have. But it is due to the explosions underneath the ground.” Since Goldcorp’s Marlin gold mine began operations in 2004, over one hundred homes have begun to crack. The company claims the cracks and fissures are due to poor construction methods. In
    On July 7th, 2010, Diodora Hernandez, a grandmother and anti-mining activist, was shot point-blank in the face outside her home in the small community of San José Nueva Esperanza. During the attack, she lost her right eye and hearing in her right ear. Diodora attributes the attack to her refusal to sell her land for the expansion of the Marlin mine. The Marlin mine is operated by Montana Exploradora, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goldcorp Inc. Nearly three years after her attack, no one has been
    On July 7th, 2010, Diodora Hernandez, a grandmother and anti-mining activist, was shot point-blank in the face outside her home in the small community of San José Nueva Esperanza. During the attack, she lost her right eye and hearing in her right ear. Diodora attributes the attack to her refusal to sell her land for the expansion of the Marlin mine. The Marlin mine is operated by Montana Exploradora, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goldcorp Inc. Nearly three years after her attack, no one has been
    Carmen Mejía, local anti-mining resistance leader, conducts a radio show. Locals say that Goldcorp’s Marlin mine in Guatemala’s western highlands has caused serious internal conflicts within the local communities. In 2009, Carmen travelled to Canada on behalf of 18 indigenous communities affected by the Marlin mine to submit an official complaint to Canada’s National Contact Point and ask for an investigation. However, the Canadian government declined to pursue the case. In 2010 and 2011, Carmen
    Carmen Mejía, local anti-mining resistance leader, conducts a radio show. Locals say that Goldcorp’s Marlin mine in Guatemala’s western highlands has caused serious internal conflicts within the local communities. In 2009, Carmen travelled to Canada on behalf of 18 indigenous communities affected by the Marlin mine to submit an official complaint to Canada’s National Contact Point and ask for an investigation. However, the Canadian government declined to pursue the case. In 2010 and 2011, Carmen
    Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, mother and anti-mining activist: “They are taking our land, cutting our trees, drying up our water...If the mine manager was here right now, I’d tell him this: we live here on the land. We live for our trees. Why? Because they give us oxygen....Mother Earth gives us everything that we need...I could fill my house with gold, but I couldn’t eat it. Without land, trees and water, I can’t live.”
    Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, mother and anti-mining activist: “They are taking our land, cutting our trees, drying up our water...If the mine manager was here right now, I’d tell him this: we live here on the land. We live for our trees. Why? Because they give us oxygen....Mother Earth gives us everything that we need...I could fill my house with gold, but I couldn’t eat it. Without land, trees and water, I can’t live.”
    Dozens of community members from Goldcorpaffected communities in San Miguel Ixtahuacán tear down a promotional billboard for the mining company. On Friday, May 22nd, 2009, while Canadian mining giant Goldcorp held its annual shareholder’s meeting in Vancouver, hundreds of community members from San Miguel Ixtahuacán, affected by Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine operations in their territories, held a protest march through the streets of Guatemala City.
    Dozens of community members from Goldcorpaffected communities in San Miguel Ixtahuacán tear down a promotional billboard for the mining company. On Friday, May 22nd, 2009, while Canadian mining giant Goldcorp held its annual shareholder’s meeting in Vancouver, hundreds of community members from San Miguel Ixtahuacán, affected by Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine operations in their territories, held a protest march through the streets of Guatemala City.
    Victor Lopez works in his small coffee plot. Community members are asking if alternative economic development projects, while not as lucrative as gold mines, might not provide more just and equitable wealth for themselves and their neighbors. Wealth, they argue, would stay in the hands of local community members rather than leave the country destined for the pockets of foreign investors.
    Victor Lopez works in his small coffee plot. Community members are asking if alternative economic development projects, while not as lucrative as gold mines, might not provide more just and equitable wealth for themselves and their neighbors. Wealth, they argue, would stay in the hands of local community members rather than leave the country destined for the pockets of foreign investors.
    Saída Pérez, daughter of Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, picks flowers outside her home in Agel, San Miguel Ixtahuacán, saying she is happy to be back for a visit to her former home after Goldcorp filed criminal charges against her mother in 2008. Gregoria Crisanta’s family was forced to move from the home after local authorities cut off her water supply in retaliation for her position against the company. The communities surrounding the Marlin Mine are deeply divided over the costs and benefits of min
    Saída Pérez, daughter of Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, picks flowers outside her home in Agel, San Miguel Ixtahuacán, saying she is happy to be back for a visit to her former home after Goldcorp filed criminal charges against her mother in 2008. Gregoria Crisanta’s family was forced to move from the home after local authorities cut off her water supply in retaliation for her position against the company. The communities surrounding the Marlin Mine are deeply divided over the costs and benefits of min
    Lolita Chávez (centre), coordinator of the K’iche’ People’s Council (Consejo de los Pueblos K’iche’s), leads a healing session with the Agel women’s group at Gregoria Cristanta Perez’ home. “Laughing and enjoying the simple pleasures of life is part of a healing process as well,” claims Lolita
    Lolita Chávez (centre), coordinator of the K’iche’ People’s Council (Consejo de los Pueblos K’iche’s), leads a healing session with the Agel women’s group at Gregoria Cristanta Perez’ home. “Laughing and enjoying the simple pleasures of life is part of a healing process as well,” claims Lolita
    Oscar Morales, vice-president for the Committee in charge of the Community Consultation regarding mining activity in San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, overlooks the Laguna de Ayarza, a volcanic lake that sits 2.5 Kilometers downstream from Tahoe Resources’ El Escobal silver mine. According to the local Committee in the Defense of Life, the lake runs the risk of contamination due to the Canadian company’s proposed industrial silver and gold mining operation in San Rafael Las Flores.
    Oscar Morales, vice-president for the Committee in charge of the Community Consultation regarding mining activity in San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, overlooks the Laguna de Ayarza, a volcanic lake that sits 2.5 Kilometers downstream from Tahoe Resources’ El Escobal silver mine. According to the local Committee in the Defense of Life, the lake runs the risk of contamination due to the Canadian company’s proposed industrial silver and gold mining operation in San Rafael Las Flores.
    Clodoveo Rodriguez, 78, resident of San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, supports his family by farming and raising cattle. There is often intense pressure on vulnerable community members like Mr. Rodriguez to sell their land or otherwise support mining projects. In such a context, many people find it difficult to continue to refuse to sell in the face of a sustained campaign to change their minds. Mr. Rodriguez’s house and land are completely dwarfed by Escobal mining infrastructure which is bein
    Clodoveo Rodriguez, 78, resident of San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, supports his family by farming and raising cattle. There is often intense pressure on vulnerable community members like Mr. Rodriguez to sell their land or otherwise support mining projects. In such a context, many people find it difficult to continue to refuse to sell in the face of a sustained campaign to change their minds. Mr. Rodriguez’s house and land are completely dwarfed by Escobal mining infrastructure which is bein
    During the Community Consultation in Good Faith on Mining Exploration and Exploitation, held on August 11th, 2007, in Nentón, Huehuetenango, nearly all of the 20,000 inhabitants of the municipality voted against industrial activities in their territories. Since 2005, some 700,000 people across Guatemala have taken part in community plebiscites on industrial activities, such as mining, within their municipalities.
    During the Community Consultation in Good Faith on Mining Exploration and Exploitation, held on August 11th, 2007, in Nentón, Huehuetenango, nearly all of the 20,000 inhabitants of the municipality voted against industrial activities in their territories. Since 2005, some 700,000 people across Guatemala have taken part in community plebiscites on industrial activities, such as mining, within their municipalities.
    Goldcorp billboard posted in Guatemala City during its 2008-2009 media campaign: “Development = work = better quality of life. For us at Goldcorp, the valuable thing is development.”
    Goldcorp billboard posted in Guatemala City during its 2008-2009 media campaign: “Development = work = better quality of life. For us at Goldcorp, the valuable thing is development.”
    Telma Yolanda Oqueli, from San José del Golfo, pleads with Metropolitan Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales in May, 2012, to support in their “dignified and peaceful struggle.” In March 2012, local residents from San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc set up a peaceful blockade at the entrance to a gold mine run by the Guatemalan subsidiary EXMINGUA. Residents are concerned about the impacts of gold mining on their local water supplies and how their livelihoods could be affected over the long
    Telma Yolanda Oqueli, from San José del Golfo, pleads with Metropolitan Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales in May, 2012, to support in their “dignified and peaceful struggle.” In March 2012, local residents from San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc set up a peaceful blockade at the entrance to a gold mine run by the Guatemalan subsidiary EXMINGUA. Residents are concerned about the impacts of gold mining on their local water supplies and how their livelihoods could be affected over the long
    An Elder from San Pedro Ayampuc serves food to those protesting outside the gate to the EXMINGUA gold mine. Since March 2nd, 2012, community members from San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc have worked together to build a peaceful resistance to mining in their region. On December 7, 2012, police moved in with tear gas to clear the peaceful protest from the mine entrance. Women, children, and elders were tear-gassed as they lay on the ground in resistance to the attempted removal. According
    An Elder from San Pedro Ayampuc serves food to those protesting outside the gate to the EXMINGUA gold mine. Since March 2nd, 2012, community members from San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc have worked together to build a peaceful resistance to mining in their region. On December 7, 2012, police moved in with tear gas to clear the peaceful protest from the mine entrance. Women, children, and elders were tear-gassed as they lay on the ground in resistance to the attempted removal. According
    Yuri Melini, director of the Guatemalan Center for Legal, Social and Environmental Action (CALAS), holds a sign that reads: “In San Rafael Las Flores and in my house: no mine here!” Hundreds gather in the main square of San Rafael Las Flores, Guatemala, to demand that a plebiscite on industrial mining be carried out in the municipality. Canadianowned Tahoe Resources has been constructing mine infrastructure at the site, although it does not yet have an exploitation license. Local residents claim
    Yuri Melini, director of the Guatemalan Center for Legal, Social and Environmental Action (CALAS), holds a sign that reads: “In San Rafael Las Flores and in my house: no mine here!” Hundreds gather in the main square of San Rafael Las Flores, Guatemala, to demand that a plebiscite on industrial mining be carried out in the municipality. Canadianowned Tahoe Resources has been constructing mine infrastructure at the site, although it does not yet have an exploitation license. Local residents claim
    From left to right: Diodora Hernández, Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, and Crisanta Pérez, Maya-Mam women from San Miguel Ixtahuacán at the People’s International Health Tribunal in San Miguel Ixtahuacán on July 14, 2012. The Tribunal brought together Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists, health workers, youth, and international experts on extractives industries to talk about the health impacts of Canadian mines in Central America.
    From left to right: Diodora Hernández, Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, and Crisanta Pérez, Maya-Mam women from San Miguel Ixtahuacán at the People’s International Health Tribunal in San Miguel Ixtahuacán on July 14, 2012. The Tribunal brought together Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists, health workers, youth, and international experts on extractives industries to talk about the health impacts of Canadian mines in Central America.
    German Chub Choc, from El Estor, speaking at the Peoples’ International Health Tribunal in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala. On September 27, 2009, German was shot point blank in the back. Moments earlier, German had witnessed the murder of a local anti-mining leader Adolfo Ich Chaman. After struggling for his life for several months, German recovered but he is now paraplegic. German and several other community members have filed lawsuits in Canada against HudBay Minerals for failing to prevent
    German Chub Choc, from El Estor, speaking at the Peoples’ International Health Tribunal in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala. On September 27, 2009, German was shot point blank in the back. Moments earlier, German had witnessed the murder of a local anti-mining leader Adolfo Ich Chaman. After struggling for his life for several months, German recovered but he is now paraplegic. German and several other community members have filed lawsuits in Canada against HudBay Minerals for failing to prevent
    Irma Yolanda Choc Cac stands by the remains of what was once her home. This is where she says she was gang raped on January 17, 2007, by security personnel from the Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN), National Police officers and Army soldiers during a forced eviction attempt. Skye Resources and CGN were acquired by HudBay Minerals and its liabilities in 2008. Ms. Choc Cac and ten other women from the Q’eqchi’ Mayan community of Lote 8 are currently pursuing a high profile lawsuit in Canada against
    Irma Yolanda Choc Cac stands by the remains of what was once her home. This is where she says she was gang raped on January 17, 2007, by security personnel from the Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN), National Police officers and Army soldiers during a forced eviction attempt. Skye Resources and CGN were acquired by HudBay Minerals and its liabilities in 2008. Ms. Choc Cac and ten other women from the Q’eqchi’ Mayan community of Lote 8 are currently pursuing a high profile lawsuit in Canada against
    Locals from San Isidro, Cabañas, El Salvador, gather water in plastic containers. Canadian mining company Pacific Rim was slated to develop its El Dorado open pit gold mine in San Isidro, but the project’s exploitation license was revoked by the State in 2008 due to health and environmental concerns. In response, Pacific Rim tried to sue the Government of El Salvador under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The tiny Central American country has spent at least
    Since the 2005 establishment of Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in the arid semi-desert municipality of Mazapil, Mexico, local communities have complained that Latin America’s largest gold producing mine has drastically diminished the scarce water sources available and created land disputes.
    Tailings pond in Bonanza, Nicaragua, where the waste product from Hemconic’s open-pit gold mine has accumulated over decades. Besides cyanide and heavy metals, this particular waste pond also contains dozens of barrels used to transport the cyanide needed to separate gold from the rock. On January 30th, 2010, an earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale cracked part of the containment wall that is supposed to keep the toxic waste product in the tailings pond from flooding the town. Seventy-f
    The municipality from the mining town of Bonanza, RAAN, Nicaragua, uses empty cyanide barrels as public trashcans. The use of cyanide, a highly toxic substance, is used to extract gold from ore through an industrial process called cyanidation. This practice has been banned in many European countries and the United States.
    On January 2007, five Q’eqchi’ Maya communities in El Estor and Panzós were illegally and violently evicted by hundreds of Guatemalan National Police officers and members of the Army. The local district attorney was flown in by a Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN) helicopter, to initiate the evictions. Here pictured, National Police officers close in on residents of Barrio La Union, El Estor.
    Jesusa Ixtecoc Juarez pleads for her home as it is taken apart. On January 8th and 9th, 2007, the Guatemalan Nickel Company, ordered the forced eviction of five Q’eqchi’ Mayan communities around Lake Izabal in El Estor, Guatemala. Over 800 State security forces carried out the forced eviction destroying and even burning several huts in the indigenous communities who claim the territory as ancestral land.
    While State forces watched, CGN employees belonging to the same Q’eqchi’ Maya ethnic group as the locals but from a different municipality, were bused in and ordered to burn homes in two of the five communities evicted on January 8th and 9th, 2007. Successive Canadian mining companies (INCO, Skye Resources and HudBay Minerals) have held the initial 385 km2 nickel-mining license from 1965 until late 2011. In 2011, HudBay Minerals sold the project to the Solway group, a Russian consortium.
    Francisco Tiul Tut, an elder from Chichipate, El Estor, breaks down as his little house is burned down during the January 8, 2007, evictions. When confronted by human rights organizations regarding the violent evictions, former Canadian ambassador to Guatemala, Kenneth Cook, claimed these images of the eviction were taken during the 36-year civil war that ravaged Guatemala from 1960 to 1996. Cook also criticized a video of the events produced by Canadian filmmaker Steven Schnoor. Mr. Schnoor eve
    Despite the evictions, the Q’eqchi’ Maya communities in El Estor and Panzós, Guatemala, continued to live on lands licensed to CGN. Adolfo Ich Chamán (centre), chairman of the Community Committee for Development (COCODE) of Barrio La Union community and a primary school teacher, was shot, hacked with a machete and killed on September 27, 2009 during a community protest of potential land evictions . Witnesses claim he was killed by private security guards subcontracted by the Guatemalan Nickel Co
    Angelica Choc (left), widow of murdered local leader Adolfo Ich Chaman, and her sister Maria Choc, seek legal advice at the Committee for Peasant Union (CUC) office. Since security guards hired by the Canadian company are suspected of murdering Ich Chaman, Angelica Choc filed a landmark lawsuit in Canada, on her own behalf and as a representative of the estate of Adolfo Ich. The lawsuit alleges that the wrongful actions and omissions primarily committed by HudBay Minerals, and their employees, l
    Irma Leticia Mendez, from the Hamlet of Agel, San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala, had been living in her home for 13 years when suddenly, in 2006, the walls began to crack. She states: “The mining company says the fissures are due to the corn grinder I have. But it is due to the explosions underneath the ground.” Since Goldcorp’s Marlin gold mine began operations in 2004, over one hundred homes have begun to crack. The company claims the cracks and fissures are due to poor construction methods. In
    On July 7th, 2010, Diodora Hernandez, a grandmother and anti-mining activist, was shot point-blank in the face outside her home in the small community of San José Nueva Esperanza. During the attack, she lost her right eye and hearing in her right ear. Diodora attributes the attack to her refusal to sell her land for the expansion of the Marlin mine. The Marlin mine is operated by Montana Exploradora, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goldcorp Inc. Nearly three years after her attack, no one has been
    Carmen Mejía, local anti-mining resistance leader, conducts a radio show. Locals say that Goldcorp’s Marlin mine in Guatemala’s western highlands has caused serious internal conflicts within the local communities. In 2009, Carmen travelled to Canada on behalf of 18 indigenous communities affected by the Marlin mine to submit an official complaint to Canada’s National Contact Point and ask for an investigation. However, the Canadian government declined to pursue the case. In 2010 and 2011, Carmen
    Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, mother and anti-mining activist: “They are taking our land, cutting our trees, drying up our water...If the mine manager was here right now, I’d tell him this: we live here on the land. We live for our trees. Why? Because they give us oxygen....Mother Earth gives us everything that we need...I could fill my house with gold, but I couldn’t eat it. Without land, trees and water, I can’t live.”
    Dozens of community members from Goldcorpaffected communities in San Miguel Ixtahuacán tear down a promotional billboard for the mining company. On Friday, May 22nd, 2009, while Canadian mining giant Goldcorp held its annual shareholder’s meeting in Vancouver, hundreds of community members from San Miguel Ixtahuacán, affected by Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine operations in their territories, held a protest march through the streets of Guatemala City.
    Victor Lopez works in his small coffee plot. Community members are asking if alternative economic development projects, while not as lucrative as gold mines, might not provide more just and equitable wealth for themselves and their neighbors. Wealth, they argue, would stay in the hands of local community members rather than leave the country destined for the pockets of foreign investors.
    Saída Pérez, daughter of Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, picks flowers outside her home in Agel, San Miguel Ixtahuacán, saying she is happy to be back for a visit to her former home after Goldcorp filed criminal charges against her mother in 2008. Gregoria Crisanta’s family was forced to move from the home after local authorities cut off her water supply in retaliation for her position against the company. The communities surrounding the Marlin Mine are deeply divided over the costs and benefits of min
    Lolita Chávez (centre), coordinator of the K’iche’ People’s Council (Consejo de los Pueblos K’iche’s), leads a healing session with the Agel women’s group at Gregoria Cristanta Perez’ home. “Laughing and enjoying the simple pleasures of life is part of a healing process as well,” claims Lolita
    Oscar Morales, vice-president for the Committee in charge of the Community Consultation regarding mining activity in San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, overlooks the Laguna de Ayarza, a volcanic lake that sits 2.5 Kilometers downstream from Tahoe Resources’ El Escobal silver mine. According to the local Committee in the Defense of Life, the lake runs the risk of contamination due to the Canadian company’s proposed industrial silver and gold mining operation in San Rafael Las Flores.
    Clodoveo Rodriguez, 78, resident of San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa, supports his family by farming and raising cattle. There is often intense pressure on vulnerable community members like Mr. Rodriguez to sell their land or otherwise support mining projects. In such a context, many people find it difficult to continue to refuse to sell in the face of a sustained campaign to change their minds. Mr. Rodriguez’s house and land are completely dwarfed by Escobal mining infrastructure which is bein
    During the Community Consultation in Good Faith on Mining Exploration and Exploitation, held on August 11th, 2007, in Nentón, Huehuetenango, nearly all of the 20,000 inhabitants of the municipality voted against industrial activities in their territories. Since 2005, some 700,000 people across Guatemala have taken part in community plebiscites on industrial activities, such as mining, within their municipalities.
    Goldcorp billboard posted in Guatemala City during its 2008-2009 media campaign: “Development = work = better quality of life. For us at Goldcorp, the valuable thing is development.”
    Telma Yolanda Oqueli, from San José del Golfo, pleads with Metropolitan Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales in May, 2012, to support in their “dignified and peaceful struggle.” In March 2012, local residents from San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc set up a peaceful blockade at the entrance to a gold mine run by the Guatemalan subsidiary EXMINGUA. Residents are concerned about the impacts of gold mining on their local water supplies and how their livelihoods could be affected over the long
    An Elder from San Pedro Ayampuc serves food to those protesting outside the gate to the EXMINGUA gold mine. Since March 2nd, 2012, community members from San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc have worked together to build a peaceful resistance to mining in their region. On December 7, 2012, police moved in with tear gas to clear the peaceful protest from the mine entrance. Women, children, and elders were tear-gassed as they lay on the ground in resistance to the attempted removal. According
    Yuri Melini, director of the Guatemalan Center for Legal, Social and Environmental Action (CALAS), holds a sign that reads: “In San Rafael Las Flores and in my house: no mine here!” Hundreds gather in the main square of San Rafael Las Flores, Guatemala, to demand that a plebiscite on industrial mining be carried out in the municipality. Canadianowned Tahoe Resources has been constructing mine infrastructure at the site, although it does not yet have an exploitation license. Local residents claim
    From left to right: Diodora Hernández, Gregoria Crisanta Pérez, and Crisanta Pérez, Maya-Mam women from San Miguel Ixtahuacán at the People’s International Health Tribunal in San Miguel Ixtahuacán on July 14, 2012. The Tribunal brought together Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists, health workers, youth, and international experts on extractives industries to talk about the health impacts of Canadian mines in Central America.
    German Chub Choc, from El Estor, speaking at the Peoples’ International Health Tribunal in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Guatemala. On September 27, 2009, German was shot point blank in the back. Moments earlier, German had witnessed the murder of a local anti-mining leader Adolfo Ich Chaman. After struggling for his life for several months, German recovered but he is now paraplegic. German and several other community members have filed lawsuits in Canada against HudBay Minerals for failing to prevent
    Irma Yolanda Choc Cac stands by the remains of what was once her home. This is where she says she was gang raped on January 17, 2007, by security personnel from the Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN), National Police officers and Army soldiers during a forced eviction attempt. Skye Resources and CGN were acquired by HudBay Minerals and its liabilities in 2008. Ms. Choc Cac and ten other women from the Q’eqchi’ Mayan community of Lote 8 are currently pursuing a high profile lawsuit in Canada against

    The Story of the Photo Exhibit

    Amnesty International Canada proudly presents Canadian Extractives as Development: Myth or Reality?, a new photo exhibit by documentary photographer James Rodriguez that engages viewers to consider essential questions about Canada’s self-proclaimed role of responsible global leader in mining development.

    Canadian embassies and trade commissions have aggressively promoted the mining industry’s agenda on foreign soil, while large-scale public media campaigns, both at home and abroad, promote corporate social responsibility practices. Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s support for the mining industry has gone as far as outspokenly accusing those opposed to mining as being “in favour of keeping people poor” in developing countries.

    But Canadians must ask ourselves: have Canadian-run mining projects truly brought economic and social advancement to impoverished communities in Latin America? Or has mining provided unprecedented cash flow for very few in the North, while causing massive environmental degradation and health issues, social conflicts, corruption or even spawning brutal violence in the Global South? Communities from Argentina to Mexico seem to argue the latter. This controversial question is explored in AI Canada's photo exhibit. 

    Canadian Extractives as Development: Myth or Reality? aims to bring home the debate regarding the perceived benefits of the Canadian government’s support for an unregulated overseas mining sector by presenting first-hand the stories and voices of those affected by Canadian policies and investment. These stories of everyday-people-turned-human-rights-defenders, most of them Indigenous men and women of Mesoamerica, will undoubtedly provide the Canadian public with the so-far untold story about this highly-controversial Canadian economic development model.

    Based in Guatemala since 2004, documentary photographer James Rodriguez presents an unequivocal visual registry of the impact Canadian mining industries have had on rural communities in Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic.

    Images from the exhibit are available as framed photographs or printed canvass banners. Each set of prints comes with text cards which accompany the images. 

    For  information about hosting the photo exhibit, please contact the Business and Human Rights team: bhr@amnesty.ca or call 1-613-744-7667 ext. 102

    rights