A Huge Mining Conglomerate Wanted to Poison This Country’s Water. After a Long Fight, They’ve Finally Lost.
Foreign Policy in Focus
The new law is aimed at protecting the Central American nation’s environment and natural resources. Approved on March 29 with the support of 69 lawmakers from multiple parties (out of a total of 84), the law blocks all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals, whether in open pits or underground. It also prohibits the use of toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury.
Although the people of El Salvador won a victory when a ruling denied a company compensation for a mine that popular opposition preventing a mine from operating on their land, they should never had to go through this seven-year legal battle in the first place. Such “investor rights” are the most extreme example of excessive power granted to corporations through trade agreements and are the reason the TPP must be defeated.
Tidbits - July 7, 2016 - Reader Comments: Bernie and What Next; Indigenous Peoples; Hawaii; Dominican Republic; Tair Kaminer; Israel; Elie Wiesel; Socialism; Resources; Announcement; and more...
Reader Comments: Bernie, Endorse?, What Next?; Dominican Republic; Indigenous Peoples in US; Hawaii; Tair Kaminer - Israeli Political Prisoner - Inspiring People Worldwide; Elie Wiesel - Responses to Max Blumenthal; Austrian Election Update; On Socialism; on the IWW; Angry response to post about Viet Thanh Nguyen; Resources: The Invention of the White Race; Mining and Resistance in Dinétah; Announcement: From Sanders to the Grassroots: National Student Conference
Despite a long list of abuses by Canadian mining companies in Africa (and elsewhere) it’s incredibly difficult to hold them accountable domestically. The previous Stephen Harper government opposed legislation modeled on the U.S. Alien Torts Claims Act that would have allowed lawsuits against Canadian companies responsible for major human rights violations or ecological destruction abroad. Is Justin Trudeau prepared to defy Canada’s powerful mining industry?
"When the coal industry rebounds to the extent that it does, and non-union operators take a look around and see that there's no union competition, and they'll see that they can begin to cut wages, they can begin to cut benefits, they can begin to cut corners on safety, they'll do that," said Phil Smith, a national spokesman for the miner's union.
The southern New Mexico mining town of Santa Rita no longer exists, even as a ghost town, except in the memories of Terry Humble and others who lived there. In September, another vestige of Santa Rita disappeared when workers at the Chino Mine voted 236-83 to decertify a 72-year-old union celebrated for its heroic struggle to improve the lives of Hispanic miners and immortalized by the 1954 movie “Salt of the Earth.”
Subscribe to mining
National Geographic News
As long as the promise of riches await, more firms and governments will be looking to join the fray. "It's economics that drive things," says the University of Tasmania's Coffin. "Tech boundaries are being pushed, and science just comes along behind it and tries to understand what the consequences are. Ideally, it should be the other way around."