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And the OTHER gangsters…

9 December 2009

This has been mostly a lefty blog kinda story for a long time, but with a state visit by the Governor-General of Canada (basically, their version of our colonial era Viceroy, though in Canada’s case, the Viceroy is a French-Canadian woman) the issue of exploitation of indiginous communities by Canadian mining firms has seeped into the “mainstream press” (at least in Canada), including this from the Globe and Mail:

Three men with links to a Canadian mining company have been charged in the killing of a Mexican activist, threatening already strained relations between the countries on the eve of a visit to the same region by Governor-General Michaëlle Jean.

A spokesman for Calgary-based Blackfire Exploration Ltd. confirmed that an employee, a former employee and a one-time company contractor were arrested in the Nov. 27 murder of Mariano Abarca Robledo, who had led local opposition against Blackfire’s barite mine in Chicomuselo, Chiapas.

Ms. Jean is preparing to travel to Chiapas Tuesday for a dinner with the state’s governor. Tensions are already high between the two countries over visa restrictions placed on Mexican visitors by the Canadian government in July.

The arrests come at a critical time for Canada’s relations with a key trading partner, as well as the reputation of Canada’s mining industry abroad…

Uh… killing local people and destroying the environment IS what the Canadian mining industry is mostly known for “abroad” (and in parts of Canada, too).

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 December 2009 3:06 pm

    Hmmm… I guess compared to the old days that seems pretty tame. I’m thinking of the Crows Nest Pass incident where they mined out the foundations of a mountain and it buried the whole valley… and all the people in it. Here’s a gold star for you, Canadian Mining.

  2. Matt Hawkins permalink
    9 December 2009 9:18 pm

    Hiring guns to kill, illegally buying up land and resources, stealing water, dumping chemicals, dividing and destroying communities, exploiting corruption, threatening/terrorizing activists and local populations a like, and ‘undermining’ any rights held by a local community is not really ‘tame’. You can be assured that Canadian mining companies are as wilfully culpable in deaths and community destruction as ever. They have gotten much better at it, admittedly, and gone global with US$’s help.

  3. 14 December 2009 1:48 pm

    And let’s not forget our lovely government, which at the moment has been hijacked by right-wingers who are happily in the pockets of anyone pumping and dumping stocks on the TSX.

    One minor detail, however: Michaëlle Jean is not just any “French-Canadian woman”, she’s originally from Haiti. She’s not our first francophone female Gov Gen (that was the late Jeanne Sauvé), but she is the first foreign-born black one. Her role is largely ceremonial, so of course she won’t be exerting any actual powers owing to a head of state in matters like these; you can think of her as a kind of celebrity goodwill ambassador. She certainly does…

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