Amnesty International Petition: Canadian mining company could leave impoverished Indigenous community with multi-million dollar bill to pay An Appeal to Goldcorp's CEO and Board of Directors
Your support is needed to help defend the human rights of the Indigenous Peoples living in Guatemala's western highlands, in the department of San Marcos. On April 26th, Goldcorp shareholders will decide if the company will post a financial guarantee to cover the approximated closure cost for Marlin and make public its closure plan. As someone who values human rights including the right to live in a healthy environment, we are asking you to cast your symbolic "vote" in favor of this resolution.
Goldcorp's Marlin Mine, operated by its subsidiary, Montana Exploradora, is one of the company's most profitable gold mines. Goldcorp has just provided the Guatemalan government with a plan for how they will clean-up the Marlin site after the mine closes in a few years. But, Goldcorp developed the plan without any meaningful involvement of the Indigenous peoples whose rights are at stake. To make matters worse, community members have yet to see this closure plan. Furthermore, the analysis of independent experts suggest that Goldcorp has dramatically underestimated the closure costs. Goldcorp, which has estimated that the cost of closing the mine will be $28 million, has put up a mere $1 million bond as a financial guarantee that it will follow through on these plans. Respected, independent studies estimate that the actual costs could be US$49 million or more over several decades. The Mayan people are worried that they will be left with water they can't drink and land they can't farm.
Most Canadians and many North Americans are invested in Goldcorp through private savings or public pension plans, such as the Canadian Pension Plan's Investment Board, which holds $177 million in Goldcorp stocks and many millions more in other Canadian extractives companies.
Act now to urge Canadian mining company Goldcorp to act responsibly and respect the rights of the Mayan peoples living close to the mine.
Despite recommendations from respected academics, professional engineers, international human rights bodies and community members themselves, Goldcorp has not yet met recommendations to improve its consultation practices. During Amnesty International's recent mission to Guatemala, we saw first-hand that social tensions in the communities around the mine run high. Individuals in San Miguel Ixtahuacán who oppose the mine have been shot, intimidated and threatened. Peaceful protestors have been assaulted.
Numerous international bodies and even the company's own human rights assessment have recommended the mine suspend operations and expansion plans until key human rights issues have been resolved. Jantzi Sustainalytics has recommended against investing in Goldcorp and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index recently removed Goldcorp from its list. Others, such as Vancity Savings Credit Union and the Danish pension fund SamPension, which manages the Pension Fund for Danish Municipalities, have divested their stocks in the company.
Several shareholders, fed up with the company's broken promises, have filed a shareholder resolution with Goldcorp, asking the company to consult with affected communities and create a closure plan that respects human rights and the right to a healthy environment, and to adequately fund such a plan. Resources need to be set aside to assure that those who have already lost their land and livelihoods because of the mine are not also left with the multi-million dollar cost of managing the tailings and water supply when the mine is no longer producing. While the company says they agree with some of the principles of the resolution, the company has recommended investors vote against it. The shareholder resolution will be voted on at Goldcorp's upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in South Porcupine, Ontario, on April 26.
This public petition has the support of communities in Guatemala. The number of sign-ons will be presented to the company and media at the time of the AGM. We are really all shareholders. Let's make our voices heard. Please sign this petition to cast your symbolic vote in favour of the resolution and share it widely.
Campaigner, Business & Human Rights
Amnesty International Canada
#430-319 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1T3
p.s. Canada's former Governor General, Michaelle Jean was greeted by boos during her visit to Central America because Canadian mining companies are not acting responsibly while operating abroad. Until proper legislation is written to better control and regulate the extractive sector, communities with support from their allies must fight for their rights one mine at a time. The Indigenous Peoples of San Miguel Ixtahuacán have asked us to speak out now.
GOLDCORP AGM IN TIMMINS, ONTARIO, APRIL 26, 2012
To get involved in local education and activism related to Goldcorp's Annual Shareholder Meeting:
HONDURAS EDUCATIONAL SOLIDARITY DELEGATION - MAY 19-28, 2012
The Military Coup vs. Democracy:
Struggle of the Popular Movements
Go to: http://rightsaction.org/content/honduras-delegation-coup-vs-democracy-struggle-popular-movements
Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
GUATEMALA EDUCATIONAL SOLIDARITY DELEGATION - JULY 7-15, 2012
Community well-being, human rights & the environment
mining companies that moil for gold (silver & nickel)
Go to: http://rightsaction.org/content/community-well-being-human-rights-environment-versus-mining-companies-moil-gold-silver
Write to: email@example.com
Rights Action (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DONATE TO RIGHTSACTION.ORG - FOR MINING HARMED COMMUNITIES
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To make tax-deductible donations, in Canada and the USA, for Mayan people working for community-controlled development, environmental justice, human rights & justice in Guatemala, make check payable to "Rights Action" and mail to:
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