As organizations in Canada and Quebec, we are appalled that Calgary-based Infinito Gold has decided to sue the Government of Costa Rica for $1-billion under the Canada-Costa Rica bilateral investment treaty. This is just the latest – and arguably most disturbing – attempt by Infinito management to intimidate the people, court system and government of Costa Rica over their rightful decision not to approve the controversial Crucitas gold mine near the San Juan River system.
Polls have shown that more than 75 percent of the Costa Rican population rejects the proposed Crucitas mine. Some of the largest protest marches in Costa Rica’s history have demanded the full enforcement of a countrywide prohibition on open-pit mining, as well as reparations from Infinito for unlawful environmental damage and the Canadian company’s prompt departure from the country. On three occasions, from 2010 to 2013, the Supreme Court of Costa Rica denied permission to Infinito to proceed with its project.
Instead of accepting judicial and popular defeat, Infinito lawyers will now seek to extort up to $1-billion from Costa Rica through secretive investment arbitration at the much-criticized International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
Finally, we demand that Infinito Gold respect the will of the vast majority of Costa Ricans, stop its legal intimidation of the people and government of Costa Rica, abide by consecutive Supreme Court rulings against the Crucitas mine and immediately drop its claim at ICSID.
Blue Planet Project
Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
CDHAL – Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine
Council of Canadians
Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network – Toronto
Mining Injustice Solidarity Network – Toronto
National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
QUISETAL – Coalition Québécoise Sur les impacts Socio-environnmentaux des transnationales en Amérique latine
Sierra Club Canada