“It pains me to tell you that the image of Canada is severely damaged”

Damning testimony in a new book reveals the horrific record of Canadian mining companies in Guatemala.

Joan Baxter has written in the Canadian publication, Halifax Examiner, about a new book, Testimonio: Canadian Mining in the Aftermath of Genocides in Guatemala, a book edited by Catherine Nolin and Grahame Russell.

The book talks of the impact Canadian mining interests have had, and continue to have, in Guatemala.

The book documents the complicity of the Canadian government in promoting Canadian companies and mining-friendly laws in the country on the heels of decades of genocidal military governments, and the unwitting complicity of the Canadian people whose pensions are invested in those companies.

Testimonio also speaks of community resistance at El Estor, La Puya, and the Marlin mine, among others.

While “Testimonio” is a painful read, it also contains strong antidotes to the distressing stories of violence inflicted by the mining projects on Indigenous populations.

Among these, the stories those same people tell about their own resistance, and their courage and determination as they struggle to defend their land, water and rights.

The quote above (title) comes from Angélica Choc, the widow of Adolfo Ich Chamán, murdered by security forces employed at the Fénix nickel mining project in El Estor.

An interesting side-note is that the book was due to be published by Singer Nature but they pulled out due to claims it was ‘defamatory’ although it is unclear what this referred to. The book is now published by Between The Lines and will be available in early 2022.

You can read the full piece, including links and photographs, here, “It pains me to tell you that the image of Canada is severely damaged”. The book does look like an essential addition to anyone’s understanding of the ongoing colonial mindset of Canadian foreign and trade policy.

A virtual book launch took place recently and can be viewed here, Testimonio – virtual book launch.

Categories: Corruption, Criminalisation, Environment, Evictions, Genocide, Guatemala, Human Rights, Impunity, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Legal, Military, Mining, Poverty, Resource Extraction, Solidarity in Action, Solidarity in Action/Guatemala, Violence

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