Regional News

Pandemic fuels mining extraction in Latin America

Deutsche Welle

53753049 303According to a study from the organization Voces Desde el Territorio and backed by 300 organizations, transnational mining companies are taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to promote the industry and continue operating despite the restrictions.

Voces Desde el Territorio reviewed more than 500 notes, press releases, and mining reports that reveal that mining companies around the world ignore the threat of the pandemic and continue to operate. According to the organization, mining companies "even use the health emergency as an opportunity to cover up their blemished histories of destruction and present themselves to their workers as social actors and benefactors offering tests to detect the virus."

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World Environment Day with nothing to celebrate

Gloria Silvia Orellana - Diario Co Latino

In El Salvador, the commemoration of “World Environment Day” of 2020 is marked by the ravages that the tropical storms Amanda and Cristobál have brought on homes, ecosystems, and the population, as well as by the food and health crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. The “World Environment Day” of 2020 has evidenced the poverty and vulnerability of the population within the national territory. 

With the slogan "For the planet, water and territory", the XX Ecological Walk was carried out online given the current health and climate situation. The online Ecological Walk allowed the various environmental, human rights, religious, women, and youth organizations that make up this space, to carry out an evaluation of the state of the country's natural resources.

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Demand to resume discussion of the Water Law in El Salvador


On Wednesday, July 1st, the National Alliance against the Privatization of Water of El Salvador urged the local Parliament to resume discussion of the Water Law.
The organizations that make up the National Alliance against the Privatization of Water of El Salvador, presented on July 1st a letter to a local parliamentary commission with the purpose of requesting that the Legislative Assembly resume "urgently" the discussion of the General Law of Water.

The declaration recalls that "water is a source of life and a public good, whose access constitutes a fundamental human right", necessary in the current conditions to face the Covid-19 health crisis in the Central American country.

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HONDURAS: Human rights defenders threatened by armed groups during quarantine


Washington, D.C. (Conexihon) .- Hundreds of national and international civil society organizations called on the government of Honduras and Colombia to guarantee the human rights of defenders, social leaders, indigenous and farming communities who vulnerability has increased due to the record number of threats by armed groups in the midst of the COVID 19 health crisis.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying the human rights crises in Honduras and Colombia," said EarthRights executive director Ka Hsaw Wa. "These governments are wisely protecting the public with measures of social isolation. But these same measures have introduced new risks for human rights defenders who are now particularly vulnerable to armed groups trying to silence them. We urge the governments of Honduras and Colombia to defend the human rights of these defenders during this public health crisis."

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Defending Land and Water from Mining Profiteers in the Time of Covid-19

by Jen Moore -

Global South Communities affected by mining face multiple pandemics - health, economic, violence, militarization and corporate capture

Over the years, the mining industry has taken advantage of dictatorship, disasters, and a variety of distractions to expand operations in Latin America. In the time of Covid-19, with entire populations under lockdown and economies falling apart, mining companies have also hopped on the pandemic profiteering bandwagon.

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Timeline: Guatemala mine suspensions


bcnInjunctions by communities and an NGO have seen Guatemala’s three main mines halted in recent years – cementing the country’s reputation as one of the world’s least favorable mining jurisdictions.

Three years after a license suspension at Pan American Silver’s Escobal silver-lead-zinc operation, BNamericas takes a look at key court rulings which have affected mines since 2013, and the outlook for the assets.

The injunctions – which have also derailed Solway Investment Group’s Fénix nickel mine and Kappes, Cassiday & Associates’ Tambor gold operation – have hinged on the lack of prior consultations with indigenous communities, a requirement of the International Labour Organization’s convention 169 (ILO 169).

But while Guatemala ratified the convention in 1996, industry leaders say regulations setting out the consultation procedure have yet to be drawn up, resulting in ongoing uncertainty. 

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