Canada: The Other Imperial Power in Latin America

“In 2020, more than a decade after assailants hacked her husband with a machete and shot him in the head, Angelica Choc is still fighting for justice. A teacher and respected leader in their Maya Q’eqchi community in eastern Guatemala, her husband Adolfo Ich Chamán was an outspoken opponent of the Canadian-owned Fenix nickel mine. Witnesses say security agents working for the mine killed him.

Ich’s killing was part of a series of violent attacks—all allegedly at the hands of Fenix security personnel—against communities standing in the way of the mining project. These included the shooting of another community member, German Chub Choc, which left him paralyzed, and the 2007 forced eviction and gang rape of 11 women in a neighboring village, Lote Ocho.”

So begins a piece by Heather Gies in El Faro, centred on Canada’s imperial impact on Latin America.

“Canada remains one of the world’s primary havens for mining companies: the country is home to 60 percent of the world’s mining companies’ headquarters. From their tax-and-regulatory sanctuary in Canada, these companies foray abroad to dig into the earth and extract riches, sometimes trampling the environment and human rights along the way…”

Canadian mining has been tied to targeted killings, lawsuits, environmental abuses and protests from activists and other civil society groups. But none of the bad press – or lack of it – has slowed the growth of Canada’s mining prowess in Latin America. By January 2018, Canadian companies are operating 1,113 mineral projects across Latin America, with little oversight and impunity.

You can read the full, important, piece here, in El Faro.



Categories: Criminalisation, Environment, Gender, Genocide, Human Rights, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Mining, Poverty, Resource Extraction, Violence

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