Robin Broad, John Cavanagh

lempa river el salvador water gold miningFrom West Texas to Jackson, Mississippi, tens of millions of people struggled through late winter storms that froze pipes, broke water mains, and cut off electricity. They froze without showers, toilets, or washing machines — let alone drinking water — for days or even weeks.

The irony that Texas, the state built on fossil fuels, was completely unprepared for extreme weather disasters shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

Fossil fuel and utility firms have long plied state officials with money. In turn, officials failed to regulate utilities, weatherize their grid, or create programs to weatherize homes — much less upgrade the state’s decaying water infrastructure.

Read more ...

An unlikely eco-alliance in postwar El Salvador

The World


the water defenders coverA new book describes how environmental activists in El Salvador brought conservatives and progressives together to institute a nationwide ban on metal mining in 2017.

The World’s Marco Werman spoke with attorney Luis Parada, who led El Salvador’s defense team in a mining lawsuit at the World Bank, and Robin Broad, a co-author of the book, "The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved A Country from Corporate Greed."

Read more ...

Urgent Action: Immediately release Guapinol defenders in high risk

Guapinol Resiste

Screen Shot 2021 05 11 at 16.24.12On February 9, 2021, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention sent a strong and clear message to Honduras: Immediately release the eight imprisoned Guapinol defenders.

In its resolution 85/2020, the Working Group stressed that there is no legal reason for the use of pre-trial detention in the case of defenders José Daniel Márquez Márquez, Kelvin Alejandro Romero Martínez, José Abelino Cedillo, Porfirio Sorto Cedillo, Orbín Nahúm Hernández, Arnold Javier Alemán, Ewer Alexander Cedillo Cruz and Jeremías Martínez Díaz and emphasized that the State is punishing them for being environmental defenders and for exercising their legitimate rights. Furthermore, it noted that there is no reason to prosecute them in the first place. The Working Group emphasized that they should be released and redressed and that those responsible for the illegal detention should be investigated.

Read more ...

Mine reappears on list of suspects: Lead source inquiry welcomed

Otago Daily

Hamish Maclean

Screen Shot 2021 05 07 at 12.42.33OceanaGold has welcomed investigations under way to rule out all possible sources of lead in an Otago community’s water supply even after the mining company resurfaced on a list of possible suspects this week.
A no-drink notice was issued for Waikouaiti, Hawksbury and Karitane on February 2 after it was revealed high lead levels had been recorded in the water supply.

When the Dunedin City Council said this week it was replacing several kilometres of old pipes in the area at a cost of about $6million, council Three Waters group manager Tom Dyer included OceanaGold’s Macraes mine in a list of possible contamination sources suggested by the community that were still being considered.

Read more ...

Ottawa must disclose how it aided Goldcorp in human rights dispute, Federal Court will hear


Screen Shot 2021 05 11 at 16.32.58

Today the Federal Court of Canada hears a case alleging that the Canadian government is improperly withholding information about its diplomatic interventions on behalf of a Canadian company accused of human rights abuse at its mine in Guatemala.

The lawsuit, filed by Shin Imai, York University law professor and co-founder of the Justice & Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP), is supported by several civil society organizations. It asks the court to order Global Affairs Canada to remove the redactions on 20 pages of documents the department disclosed in response to an access-to-information request.

Hidden in those documents are details about Canadian officials’ communications with Goldcorp, the Guatemalan government and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) after the commission called for Goldcorp’s Marlin mine to be shut down in 2010. The commission made the unprecedented request in response to evidence that Indigenous communities had not been consulted about the mine and concerns that its operations were contaminating their water resources.

Read more ...

​Parliamentary Petition Calls on Canada to Act on Human Rights Abuses in the Philippines

Mining Watch

Screen Shot 2021 05 06 at 00.04.24A petition calling on the Canadian Government to act in response to increasing extrajudicial killings of civilians and human rights defenders in the Philippines will be tabled by the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Strathcona, Heather McPherson, in the House of Commons on February 25, 2021, at 10:00 A.M. EST. Viewers can watch Ms. McPherson Heather table the petition on “House of Commons proceedings Live at 10” on CPAC. She will hold an online press conference following the tabling of the petition (details below). Canada is implicated in the rights abuses through military aid to the Philippines and through the role that Canadian mining companies play in the country. “The Philippines is now one of the two most dangerous countries for defenders of human and environmental rights according to Global Witness,” said Patricia Lisson of ICHRP-Canada (International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines-Canada). “In 2020, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report highlighting severe human rights violations, reinforced by harmful rhetoric from high-level officials against human rights organizations, lawyers, political, judicial actors, journalists, trade unionists, and religious groups,” she added.

Read more ...