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NEWS: Canadian groups send letter about Crucitas open-pit gold mine

InsideCostaRica.com reports, “Seven Canadian organizations yesterday sent a strongly worded letter to CEO John Morgan of Canadian mining company Infinito Gold, demanding that the company ‘end its decade-long harassment of the people and the government of Costa Rica’, and that it withdraw its April 4 threat to sue the small Central American country for US$1 billion if it is not allowed to build its Crucitas open-pit gold mine.” The suit would be pursued through the Canada-Costa Rica Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), which has been in force since September 1999.

The article highlights, “The Calgary-based company has tried to strong-arm Costa Rica’s judiciary into overturning two Supreme Court rulings (2010 and 2011) that upheld the country’s ban on open-pit mining. The courts told the Canadian company it could not develop the Crucitas mine, and told Infinito to pack up and go…”

As previously reported by the Tico Times, “In 2006, then-president Óscar Arias signed a decree saying the mine was in Costa Rica’s public interest and gave the go-ahead to the project, which was already facing stiff opposition from environmental groups.” The letter adds, “The Courts have also ordered an investigation into an alleged payment made to the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress by Infinito’s main Canadian financial backer just days before then-President Oscar Arias declared the Crucitas mine to be in ‘the national interest’ (an action deemed illegal and annulled by the Costa Rican justice system) in an attempt to overturn a previous ban.”

The letter was signed by MiningWatch Canada, Common Frontiers, Sierra Club Canada, Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine (CDHAL), the Council of Canadians, the Blue Planet Project, Polaris Institute, and Public Service Alliance of Canada.

The news article can be read here. The article can also be read in Spanish here. The letter itself is here. A December 2011 campaign blog on this issue is at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=12567.