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UPDATE: Blue Planet Project to visit San José del Progreso

On November 20-22, Blue Planet Project water campaigner Meera Karunananthan and I will join a human rights delegation looking into the situation in San José del Progreso in Mexico.

While the Blue Planet Project team was in Marseille in mid-March protesting the World Water Forum, we received word that Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, a Mexican civil society activist who has spoken out against the Canadian-owned Fortuna Silver Mine in San José del Progreso, had been killed.

Days later, on March 21, Blue Planet Project organizer Claudia Campero was at a protest in front of the Canadian embassy in Mexico. Reforma.com reported (in Spanish), “‘A man deeply involved in the protest against Fortuna Silver Canadian mining and its impacts on local water sources was killed,’ Campero said in a telephone interview. She said that Canadian organizations are also asking for clarification of the murder. ‘They’re looking to change the law in Canada that when human rights are violated environmental and labor out of our country the people directly affected have recourse through the Canadian legal system,’ she said.”

Days after that, CTV reported, “Human rights activists are calling on a Vancouver-based mining company to pull out of Mexico after the murder of a prominent opponent of the industry last week.”

Then on June 1, more than 400 people gathered at the Maritime Labour Centre in Vancouver for the opening public forum of our ‘Shout Out Against Mining Injustice’ conference. The conference – dedicated to Bernardo and all activists who have been killed for speaking against mining injustice – opened with a video about his life and cause.

And on October 24, we issued an ‘urgent notice’ to let authorities in Oaxaca know that we are monitoring the situation in Magdalena Ocotlan and San José del Progreso.” Karunananthan noted, “We have received urgent information that community activists have been threatened and harassed by local authorities and mining company workers for challenging the construction of a water pipeline to carry water from municipality of Magdalena Ocotlan to the mine in San José del Progreso without the consent of either community.”

Web-links relating to the notes above can be found at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=14154, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=14242, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=14346, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17498 and http://canadians.org/blog/?p=15638.