Puno: An indefinite strike announced due to mining contamination in the Coata River


Arsenic and mercury were found in the bodies of people in the districts near the Coata river basin, in the Puno region, which is being contaminated by mining tailings. Local leaders claim that the State has failed to protect their health.

The Unified Defense Front (Frente de Defensa Unificado) against the contamination of the Coata River basin announced that they will go on indefinite strike this Monday, November 9. At a press conference, leaders expressed demands for the Government to take urgent measures in the five affected districts.

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Reclaim Your Rights: Defend Indigenous People’s Lands


Beverly L. Longid

Screen Shot 2021 05 05 at 23.43.17Indigenous Peoples, advocates and members of IPMSDL call for continuing struggle for self-determination to combat  imperialist plunder and state-terror. Credit: Carlo Manalansan, International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) Rights are earned through hard-fought struggles. And for Indigenous Peoples (IP), its fulfillment comes from the collective and continuous defense of ancestral land and territory, and assertion of their ways of life and the right to self-determination. As the pandemic ravages and the global crisis deepen, the world’s superpowers and the oppressive governments and systems continue to intensify widening inequality. Exacerbated neglect and discrimination to their access to health and basic services has been a grave threat to the 476 million Indigenous Peoples across the globe — the tip of the iceberg of today’s social and economic inequities.

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A Canadian Mining Giant Is Quietly Ramping Up Work in New Zealand. Locals Are Worried


Anya Zoledziowski

Screen Shot 2021 05 07 at 12.59.23In the latest allegations against Canadian mining, conservationists say new projects could destroy protected lands and further harm endangered species.

A Canadian-Australian mining giant is preemptively ramping up its operations in and around protected land on New Zealand’s North Island, local conservationists and residents say.

Waihi, a town of nearly 6,000, sits at the edge of the Coromandel Peninsula, an 85-kilometre stretch of largely protected conservation land rich in gold and silver.

OceanaGold is proposing a 6.8-kilometre tunnel that would travel from Waihi to Wharekirauponga (WKP), in the Coromandel, where it purchased rights to mine and explore in 2016.

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U.S.-Backed ANDA Appointment Threatens the Salvadoran People’s Water Resources


On September 24, the government of Nayib Bukele named a new official to head the National Aqueduct and Sewer Administration (ANDA), the autonomous institution charged with the management, treatment, and distribution of water resources nationwide. During the swearing in ceremony, President Bukele showed a video greeting from U.S. Ambassador Ronald D. Johnson, who publicly endorsed the appointment. The new president of ANDA, Rubén Alemán, had been employed for twelve years as an environmental monitoring expert by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Alemán’s appointment has generated concerns and questions about the U.S. government’s involvement regarding the control of water resources.

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EL SALVADOR - Water recognized as a public good and human right, the satisfaction of the Church

Agenzia Fides

8Alianza Contra 1San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador unanimously approved, with 78 votes in favor and no votes against, the reform of the Constitution of the Republic to recognize water as a public good and human right. According to El Salvador's legislation, after this session on October 15, the reform will have to be ratified by the next legislature and can therefore enter into force from 2021, after the parliamentary elections.

The Archbishop of San Salvador, Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, president of the Salvadoran Episcopal Conference, in a video posted on the archdiocese's social media thanks the authorities and expresses the satisfaction of the national community and the Church for the approval of the constitutional reform. According to what was approved by the deputies, the change concerns Article 2 of the Constitution, which establishes that water is a human right. Thus the article guarantees individual and fundamental rights, such as life, physical and moral integrity, freedom, security, work; to these would be added water and its sanitation facilities. In addition, a further amendment was approved, to Article 69, to establish that water is a public good.

In El Salvador, the Church has always been a protagonist in calling for a fair law for the distribution and management of this precious resource of water. President Nayib Bukele stressed this when he was elected (see Fides, 12/2/2019). "For over a decade people have been asking for the urgent approval of a general law on water ... now the same people are tired of the lack of commitment and will to legislate on water", said Mgr. Escobar Alas on various occasions. 

Canadian corporate greed on display in Mexico mining dispute

Jen Moore | Canadian Dimension

As gold prices soar to record levels, the Los Filos gold mine in Mexico, one of the country’s largest, has sat idle since early September after its owner, Vancouver-based Equinox Gold, failed to uphold its agreement with the nearby community of Carrizalillo, a small town of about 3,000 people. Equinox blames the community for the shutdown, but in reality, the company and its executives have no one to blame but themselves.

On September 3, the community assembly of Carrizalillo set up camp outside the mine, which is principally located on their lands, after their representatives tried for months to appeal to company management to correct breaches of their social-cooperation agreement. Instead of receiving a constructive response, they faced disrespect, ridicule, and discrimination from the manager designated to respond to their concerns.

The community first sought resolution through written correspondence and meetings. In a July 31 letter, the community appealed directly to the Los Filos general manager and explained that their efforts to address grievances with the manager assigned to them “always end with incomplete responses or without resolution and with arrogant acts and insults that extend to acts of discrimination and lack of respect.” They requested that the general manager be assigned to them instead. But he was dismissed that very week. Subsequently, communication with and trust in the company began rapidly eroding.

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