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OH? Canada

1 October 2009

“We also have no history of colonialism…”

(Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister during a G-20 press conference in Pittsburgh)

Two Qeqchi leaders were shot and killed and over a dozen wounded this week near the site of a shuttered nickel mine in Guatemala.

The first shooting took place on Sunday, September 27 on land claimed by the community of Las Nubes, which Compañia Guatemalteca de Niquel (CGN), a subsidiary of Manitoba’s HudBay Minerals, also claims to own.

Early reports indicated CGN’s private security guards opened fire while attempting to remove families from their land. Adolfo Ichi Chamán, a teacher and community leader, was killed by gunshot, at least eight more wounded by bullets fired from an AK-47.

One day after the murder of Chamán, men armed with machine guns opened fire on a mini-bus carrying Indigenous educators and leaders from the El Estor region to Cobán. One man, Martin Choc, was killed, and at least nine more wounded.

These killings are a flare up in a tense area, where the track record of Canadian mining companies includes forced displacement over multiple generations, co-operation with the army, and the burning of homes belonging to Indigenous people.

Shortly after a series of violent evictions that took place on nearby lands in 2007, Skye Resources (later acquired by Hudbay) representatives went on the record and lied through their teeth to defend their actions.

The English-language corporate media has repeatedly turned a blind eye to recent and past events unfolding in El Estor. This kind of reporting facilitates corporate lies and deceit, plain and simple.

(The Dominion, Canada)

One might see how Mr. Harper is easily confused.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt Hawkins permalink
    1 October 2009 2:34 pm

    Thanks for picking this story up. I cannot help but say that this should not only be connected to Harper’s asinine comments about colonialism at the G20 meeting but also Canada’s non-stance on the Honduran coup.

    Yes State Minister Kent has made a few comments denouncing the ‘coup’, but has only done so to the very minimum of the OAS standards. While in reality, Canadian aid continues to flow to the coup government and Minister Kent often maintains ‘dialogue’ and other stalling techniques, while being highly critical of Zelaya and supporters for being inflammatory and against ‘calm’.

    Canada’s position on the coup is being framed cautiously to protect mining interests and other business connections into Honduras and fed by a neoliberal-colonialist mentality which defines Harper’s foreign policy relationship to the Americas. If something is narrowly good for a mining company, it will be defended no matter what it is – two dead ‘indians’ or one coup government.

  2. 2 October 2009 2:42 pm

    The Canadian people are not colonialists, but the mining corporations are not the Canadian people. They are the NAFTA apatridos–they don’t care for their country or any other, only for money.

    It’s pathetic and embarrassing to see our government stuck so firmly in their back pockets, I hardly need say.

  3. 2 October 2009 5:15 pm

    Every country in the Americas is “colonial” in some fashion or another as far as I am concerned.

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