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UPDATE: Ailish Morgan poses questions at Goldcorp shareholders meeting

Please see this blog by Ontario-Quebec organizing assistant Ailish Morgan:

Yesterday, Goldcorp held its annual shareholders meeting in Toronto at the Trump International Hotel and Towers. Along with Susana Caxaj, a health researcher who has worked closely with communities near Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine, and Caren Weisbart of Breaking the Silence and Acoguate, I was inside the meeting to demand Goldcorp answer for its shameful record on environmental and human rights.

Charles Jeannes, Goldcorp’s President and CEO, was questioned on water contamination that has led to high blood levels of arsenic and lead in local residents around Goldcorp’s recently closed San Mantin mine in Honduras. In response, Jeannes claimed that no evidence of adverse impacts has been found. This claim is contrary to studies by local doctors that have found: “serious skin and hair loss problems, respiratory track, nervous system and eye problems – all of which can be attributed to contamination by heavy metals.”

Jeannes similarly dismissed the findings of the People’s International Health Tribunal, in which the Council of Canadians participated, that condemned Goldcorp’s activities throughout Mesoamerica for health, environmental, and human rights impacts. While the Tribunal demanded that Goldcorp suspend its activities in Mesoamerica, the company in fact intends to increase its overall production by 10% in the coming year.

Jeannes was also questioned about recent violence in San Rafael las Flores, Guatemala, connected to Tahoe Resource’s Escobal mine. Goldcorp owns 40% of the investment in Tahoe Resources. While Goldcorp committed to a human rights assessment in 2010 that required respect for the rights of indigenous communities to free, prior, and informed consent, they continue to operate in areas such as San Rafael where community referendums have overwhelmingly voted ‘no’ to Goldcorp projects. Jeannes’ statement that Goldcorp does not condone violence in any form does little to address the actual violence that takes place in communities where Goldcorp operates.

Activists were also outside the meeting declaring the area, like the regions where the company operates, a Goldcorp ‘toxic zone’.

A new film, Gold Fever, exposes Goldcorp’s impact on the community of San Miguel Ixtahuacan in Guatemala: http://www.goldfevermovie.com.

For more about Goldcorp, please read:
NEWS: Golcorp sponsors Conservative MPs to visit Marlin mine in Guatemala
Health Tribunal in Guatemala: In the case of Goldcorp versus mining affected Communities
NEWS: Chilean court ruling a set-back for El Morro mine
UPDATE: Council to participate in protest against Goldcorp in Toronto
NEWS: Free trade and Goldcorp’s San Martin mine in Honduras
Maude Barlow in Guatemala: Bearing witness to a destructive mining industry