MAC: Mines and Communities

Latin American update

Published by MAC on 2007-05-02

Latin American update

2nd May 2007

Disturbing reports from Colombia speak of increased persecution of mining communities and their leaders in Sur de Bolivar.

Meanwhile, Colombia's chief prosecutor has gone to the US to investigate allegations against Drummond Coal and banana company, Chiquita Brands, that they financed paramilitary death squads operating in their concession areas.

The Bolivian government has approved a decree consigning all mineral reserves to "the nation", and nullifying concessions currently in the approval process. However, the largest single concession - El Mutun - is being negotiated with the Indian company, Jindal. And Jindal still hasn't answered key questions posed by the government. According to the deputy mining minister: "...[W]hat it wants to do is have a branch in Bolivia without limits on the duties it can perform, and that must be corrected."

Paraguay has joined the legion of Southern states that have opened their doors even further to increased foreign minerals investment.

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