MEDIA ADVISORY: Mining Affected Communities Demand Goldcorp Respect Their Rights

Media Advisory For:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

 

Contact:

Amanda Kistler, 604.220.4009, amanda.camigua @gmail.com

Wyanne Sandler, 902.969.2869, btsmaritimes @gmail.com

 

Mining Affected Communities Demand Goldcorp Respect Their Rights

WHAT:           Rally, street theatre, march and direct participation in Goldcorp AGM

WHEN:           Wednesday, May 18 at 10am PST

WHERE:         Pan Pacific Hotel, Crystal Ballroom, 300 – 999 Canada Place, and outside

Vancouver, British Columbia – Community representatives affected by Goldcorp’s mining operations in Latin America will attend the company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Vancouver to demand respect for their rights. A coalition of human rights and advocacy organizations from the United States and Canada will accompany them, including the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, MiningWatch Canada, the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) and others.

Activists will gather outside Pan Pacific Hotel where the shareholders’ meeting will take place, then march to the local office of the Canadian Pension Plan, calling attention to public investments in Goldcorp.

Latin American community representatives will participate in the shareholder meeting to denounce human rights abuses, including health and environmental harms. They will also ask shareholders to support a resolution that asks the company to voluntarily suspend operations at the embattled Marlin mine in Guatemala in compliance with recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

In 2010, both the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva and IACHR called for the suspension of mining activity at Goldcorp’s Marlin mine. Amnesty International also repeatedly denounced human rights violations near the Marlin mine. Threats and intimidation of activists and community leaders have been on the rise in neighbouring communities since the mine opened.

The following spokespeople will be available for interviews with the media:

WHO:

Benito Lopez, Lawyer, Rigoberta Menchu Tum Foundation, Guatemala

Ruben Herrera, Activist, Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Carlos Amador, Teacher and Secretary, Environmental Committee of the Valley of Siria, Honduras

Kristen Genovese, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law

Jennifer Moore, Latin America Program Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada

Press kits and photos available upon request.

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Background:

 

Benito Morales is a Human Rights Coordinator and lawyer for the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation who works on legal cases related to land and indigenous rights issues, such as the right to free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples. He is also part of the Legal Committee of the Council of Western Peoples – a coalition of indigenous groups in western Guatemala working to defend their rights. Benito was born in Santa Cruz del Quiché in Guatemala. He is Mayan K’iche’.

Ruben Herrera is a member of the Departmental Assembly of Huehuetenango for the Defense of Natural Resources. The Assembly works to promote self-determination and sustainable social change, which is essential to indigenous dignity and survival.

Carlos Amador is a teacher and community leader in El Porvenir, 15 kilometers from Goldcorp’s open-pit, cyanide-leaching gold mine – the “San Martin” mine in Honduras.  Since 2000, Carlos has been educating and organizing local communities in the Siria Valley and working to resist and demand justice for the health and environmental harms and human rights violations caused by Goldcorp’s mine.

Kristen Genovese is a senior attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law’s International Financial Institutions Program and directs the Law & Communities Program. In the last two years, she has assisted communities in Nicaragua and Bolivia, who were adversely affected by development projects, bringing complaints to the public institutions that provided the funding.

Jen Moore is the Latin America Program Coordinator at MiningWatch Canada. Prior to joining MiningWatch, she worked for four years as a freelance print and broadcast journalist based in Ecuador. Her research and reporting included in-depth analysis of conflicts arising from Canadian mining expansion, and has also taken her to Peru, Bolivia and post-coup Honduras.

To schedule an interview with any of the people listed, please contact Amanda Kistler at 604-220-4009 or amanda.camigua @gmail.com.

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