On April 30th, 50 people gathered in downtown Toronto to denounce the devastating impacts of Goldcorp on communities and the environment and to commemorate the lives of those killed resisting its mines. The crowd gathered outside Goldcorp’s headquarters for a memorial to Topacio Reynoso Pacheco, a 16 year old activist who was murdered on April 13th, 2014 for her resistance to the Escobal mine in San Rafael las Flores, Guatemala. The Escobal mine is jointly owned by Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources, a company 40% owned by Goldcorp and founded by its former CEO. Two more community members resisting the Escobal mine have been killed in 2015 alone. The crowd lit candles and laid flowers and stickers commemorating Topacio on the stairs leading up to Goldcorp’s headquarters.
After a moment of silence, the crowd marched with red carnations to the Sheraton hotel on Queen St. where Goldcorp was holding their annual shareholders’ meeting. The marchers stopped at Toronto City Hall along the way to highlight the number of mining companies that are based in Toronto and to emphasize the connection of mining companies with the upcoming Pan-Am games.
Outside the shareholders meeting, the crowd displayed a photo timeline commemorating 10 years of violence, environmental destruction, and resistance at Goldcorp’s Marlin mine. Marchers also signed a pledge of resistance in honour of Topacio that will be returned to her family in Guatemala. As shareholders left the meeting, speakers denounced Goldcorp’s harmful practices. Sergio Campusano Villches, President of the Diaguita Huasco Altinos, was inside the meeting and spoke to crowd outside saying: “We do not want them in our territory. We never asked them to come and help us.” The Diaguita Huasco Altinos are opposing the El Morro mine on their territory in Chile and recently won a case before the Supreme Court of Chile that found Goldcorp did not properly consult their community.
The Council of Canadians denounces Goldcorp for violating human rights, contaminating water, and destroying the environment. Maude Barlow visited the Marlin mine in September of 2011 to bear witness to the destruction of communities affected by Goldcorp. You can read about her visit here.
The Council of Canadians and the Blue Planet Project are calling for divestment from Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources. The Money Thread campaign asks Canadian taxpayers to recognize the financial impact of their pension funds and investments on communities in Guatemala. To learn more about The Money Thread and to sign the petition, please visit the campaign website.