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Report on mining company’s violations in San Jose del Progreso released

E-oaxaca reports (in Spanish), “Twenty organizations of Mexican and international civil society presented the report ‘Justice for San Jose del Progreso’, generated from a Civil Observation Mission on Human Rights held in late 2012 and now updated. The report shows the systematic human rights produced by the imposition of ‘San Jose’ mining project in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, powered by the (Vancouver-based) company Fortuna Silver Mines since 2006.” Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan and I participated in that Civil Observation Mission in Oaxaca.

The news report notes, “The company is backed by state and federal authorities have mainly violated the right to life, to free, prior and informed consent, the public information, respect for collective ownership and territorial integrity, the right to self-determination, the right to a healthy environment, community health, the right of children and adolescents, the right of women, the right of association and assembly, the right to liberty, integrity staff, the right of defenders of human rights and the right to justice, all recognized in national and international legal instruments.”

“The report concludes with complaints addressed to the government of Canada and recommends implementing effective legislative or other measures to ensure that Canadian mining companies are called to respond to the Canadian justice system for human rights violations committed outside their territory.”

In March 2012, while the Blue Planet Project team was in France protesting the World Water Forum, we received word that Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, a Mexican civil society activist critical of the Fortuna Silver mine, had been killed. We issued a statement condemning his murder. Days later, Blue Planet Project organizer Claudia Campero protested his death at the Canadian embassy in Mexico City. On June 1, 2012, more than 400 people gathered in Vancouver for our ‘Shout Out Against Mining Injustice’ conference, which opened with a video about Bernado’s life and cause. In November 2012, Karunananthan wrote, “I have been in San Jose del Progreso in Oaxaca, Mexico this week on behalf of the Blue Planet Project with Brent Patterson as part of a human rights delegation called the ‘Mision Civil de Observacion Justicia para San Jose del Progreso’.” In January 2013, Campero participated in the ‘Yes to life! No to mining!’ conference organized by the Oaxacan Collective for the Defence of Territories in Capulálpam de Méndez, Oaxaca. In November 2013, we noted that Fortuna Silver had ramped up production at the mine and had announced that its estimates on the silver reserves at its Cuzcatlan/ San Jose mine had increased by 22 per cent.

Along with the Council of Canadians, the groups that have endorsed updated report released this week include, “Colectivo Oaxaqueño en Defensa de los Territorios: Servicios para una Educación Alternativa (EDUCA) A.C.; Tequio Jurídico A.C.; Servicios del Pueblo Mixe (Ser Mixe) A.C.; Centro de Derechos Indígenas Flor y Canto A.C.; Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Centro Prodh) A.C.; Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca (UNOSJO) S.C.; Bachillerato Intercultural Ojo de Agua; FUNDAR,Centro de Análisis e InvestigaciónA.C.; La Asamblea Veracruzana de Iniciativas y Defensa Ambiental (LA VIDA); Consorcio para el Diálogo y la Equidad de Género-Oaxaca A.C.; Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista (MAIZ); Servicio Internacional para la Paz (SIPAZ); Colectivo Casa Chapulín, Centro Autónomo para la Creación Intercultural de Tecnologías Apropiadas (C.A.C.I.T.A.); Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha(CODIGO DH) A.C.; Hij@s de la Tierra; WitnessForPeace; Movimiento Sueco por la Reconciliación (Swefor).”

Photo by e-Oaxaca