MAC: Mines and Communities

Latin American Update

Published by MAC on 2006-12-14

Latin American Update

14th December 2006

As foreshadowed on this site, the regional government of Mondoza province, Argentina, has suspended all open-pit mining, although recent indications are that the governor, Ricardo Cobos, will use his veto to overturn the popular decision.

A recent Transational Tribunal to expose Barrick's Latin American activities was recently concluded in Chile. We publish the judgements of the Tribunal and a personal commentary by the prosecutor.

Brazilian policy have removed gold prospectors from a national park, and the major steel-maker, Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional, has pipped India's Tata Steel to the post, in its takeover of Corus Steel. Last week the UK-Dutch company was itself fined more than a million pounds for an explosion in 2001 which killed three workers and injured a dozen others at one of its plants in Wales.

Negotiations between the Columbian mineworkers union, Sintracarbon, and the three UK partners in the huge El Cerrejon coal mine seem to be heading nowhere, as accusations are levelled against paramilitary groups of making sinister threats against trade unionists and student activists.

A raft of Ecuadorian NGOs has issued a statement condemning ongoing human rights abuses by the Canadian companies Ascendant and Correntes Resources.

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