What does Canada have in common with Latin American communities? Bad mining.

 

Right now, Canadian mining companies are committing human rights and environmental atrocities throughout the world and reaping billions of dollars in profits along the way. If you’re outraged at that thought, you’re not alone.

If that weren’t enough, our government is not only complicit with these actions, it is paving the way for these atrocities through trade agreements that entrench the rights of these corporations and by failing to hold them accountable to human rights and environmental standards.

However, communities and activists in Canada, Latin America and elsewhere are overcoming tremendous odds and risking their very lives to fight back. In the last two weeks alone, civil society movements in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Colombia have led powerful actions to stand up to Vancouver-based mining giants Fortuna Silver, Goldcorp, New Gold and Barrick Gold.

Risking life is not an exaggeration. Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, a community activist with the Coordinadora de Pueblos Unidos del Valle de Ocotlan (CPUVO) in Mexico, had been a vocal opponent of Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver’s gold and silver mine south-east of Mexico City ever since it opened in September 2011. The mine and its operations gravely impacted the essential source of local drinking water that the community relied upon and Bernardo, along with the CPUVO, was committed to putting an end to it. Tragically, this past March Bernardo was murdered for his outspoken activism.

As Canadians, we have a responsibility on our end to hold Canadian mining companies accountable for their atrocities and demand our government intervene immediately.

This is just one reason why the Council of Canadians has organized the Shout Out Against Mining Injustice, this June 1-2 in Vancouver. We are dedicating the conference to Bernardo and all who have lost their lives in the struggle against mining injustice.

Please join us for this timely and important conference. You’ll hear powerful firsthand stories from Latin American activists who are directly taking on Canadian mining companies, including a representative from CPUVO. You’ll learn about the industry and government strategies that threaten to further exacerbate human rights violations and environmental degradation in the pursuit of profit. And you’ll learn how you can be part of building resistance and hope here in Canada and in impacted communities abroad.

If you haven’t already done so, click here to register online today and be a part of the Shout Out Against Mining Injustice.

Help us spread the word! Plan to bring a friend or a group of friends to the events, and share our event details through Facebook and on Twitter with #soami12.



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