News

In Guatemala, Harris Should Address U.S. Policies That Put Corporations Over People

 Inequality

Jen Moore and Ellen Moore

GettyImages 1314611192 kamala guatemala croppedVice President Kamala Harris in a virtual bilateral meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei on April 26, 2021. As the Vice President seeks to remedy root causes of migration, she should vow to dismantle neoliberal rules that have been devastating for rural and Indigenous peoples. In Guatemala, Harris Should Address U.S. Policies That Put Corporations Over People. As the Vice President seeks to remedy root causes of migration, she should vow to dismantle neoliberal rules that have been devastating for rural and Indigenous peoples.

Vice President Kamala Harris is traveling to Guatemala this week to discuss solutions to the poverty, violence, and corruption that are among the driving forces of migration. Contributing to these drivers are neoliberal arrangements, such as the Central America–Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which have been imposed on Guatemalans. This framework favors the development of large-scale mining and energy projects that are devastating to the well-being of rural communities and Indigenous peoples, while allowing private corporations to sue governments over hard-fought social and environmental protections.

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Reactivation of Cerro Blanco Mining Project

Guatemala Network Solidarity

Kevo Dell

CerroBlancogoldprojectGuatemalaBluestoneResources 480x385In a series of tweets, in Spanish, The Extractive Industries Observatory (El Observatorio de Industrias Extractivas – OIE) has introduced a thread about the Cerro Blanco mining project in Jutiapa, and its re-opening by Bluestone Resources.

The OIE was created with the intention of contributing data on the extractive industry in Guatemala from an independent perspective. Their intention is to create an information platform with different levels of disaggregated data.

The Cerro Blanco mining project, located in Jutiapa and with almost ten years of no mining activity, is back in the news after announcing its reactivation. Why is it important for us to be informed about this case? We explain more in this first thread:

According to MadreSelva, Bluestone Resources, the company that owns the mine, scheduled a meeting with Cerro Blanco residents on May 1 to announce not only its reactivation, but also a change of plans: the project will change from an underground mine to an open pit project.

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Mining is not ‘recovery’

Inquirer

Efenita Taqueban and Gideon Lasco

miningIn the name of “recovery” from the pandemic, the Philippine government has opened up mining opportunities in the country, with the President recently lifting the ban on new mining agreements. On the heels of his order — EO 130 — came two announcements for the renewal of two agreements with large mining corporations: OceanaGold in Didipio, Nueva Viscaya, and Sagittarius Mining Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

These developments are disconcerting, for they are the exact opposite of what “recovery” should look like. If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it is that our environmental and human health are inseparable, and our abuse of nature will come to haunt us, not least in the form of viral outbreaks caused by our exploitation of animals, plants, and their habitats. Whatever short-term economic benefits to be had from mining (and studies show these never go to the affected communities), this remains a losing proposition when we consider its costs to our nation: finite natural resources, biodiversity, and cultural heritage.

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Green group supports ban on open-pit mining, protection of 'no mining zones'

PHILSTAR

Gaea Katreena Cabico 

mining2021 02 1819 30 29 2021 05 26 23 05 05An environmental activist group voiced its support for proposed measures declaring areas “no mining zones” and banning the open pit method of mining in the Philippines, a country rich in precious minerals.

In a position paper read at a hearing of a panel of the House of Representatives Wednesday, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment called for the urgent passage of House Bill 253 and House Bill 6450 which seek to limit mining in the Philippines.
House Bill 253, or the No Mining Zones bill, seeks to close all areas declared as “no mining zones” to mining applications. Meanwhile, House Bill 6450, or the Open Pit Mining Ban bill, aims to impose a moratorium on the open pit method of mining for copper, gold, silver and complex ores in the country.

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First Pre-Consultation Meeting with the Xinka People on the Escobal Mine

ResistEscobal

 

BTS XinkaParliamentSignIndigenous Xinka authorities and the Ministry of Energy and Mines establish initial agreements regarding the pre-consultation process

The first pre-consultation meeting concerning the Escobal mining license was held on Friday, May 21 of this year in the offices of the Xinka Parliament of Guatemala. The purpose was to identify the entities that will participate as observers and to establish the first set of agreements about how the pre-consultation and consultation process will be carried out.

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Scientists, fishers say new mining deals to cause more damage than good

Bulatlat

Adam Ang

mount dinkidayOceanagold’s mining operations in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya have dried up the sources of water, polluted the environment and crippled the livelihood of farmers. 
“We won’t be fooled by the pretext that reopening our natural resources to large-scale mining would help revive the pandemic-battered economy as it would inflict serious damage than repair.”

Environment defenders, including scientists and fishers, have debunked President Rodrigo Duterte’s justification for the lifting of the nine-year ban on new mining contracts.

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