MNN. May 31, 2013. During the tornado of corruption scandals in Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen “Speedy-Gonzales” Harper sped to Peru for a few days. Media failed to report that he went to give “foreign aid” to Canadian mining companies that are committing major human rights crimes against Indigenous people. [Stephen Boyd, May 30/13, The Tyce. Link below].
Last year, Canada invested $6.9 billion in extracting mining, oil and gas in South America. The funds came from the Indian Trust Fund without our consent.
Harper landed, said, “Hi!” to the President of Peru and then quickly flew off to Cali to meet with the right-wing Pacific Alliance of Peru, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia. Canada is at the forefront of strategies to kill Indigenous and steal their natural resources worldwide.
Pacific Alliance of right wing regimes [Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico] is well known internationally for human rights abuses against their opponents. 15 civilians were recently murdered by Peruvian police during protests over oil, mining and gas extractions. A couple opposed to Vancouver’s MAG Silver mine was gunned down in Chihuahua, Mexico. Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama mine in Chile commits environmental violations and threats against Indigenous leaders who stand up to paramilitary and mining company aggression in Colombia. The model for “disappearing” enemies was set by CIA backed General Pinochet of Chile in the 1970’s.
Harper gave Peru a $53 million aid package to promote mining security to stand up to Indigenous resistance. Mounties are giving special training in security to Peruvians at UBC’s “Extractive Industries and Development”. They work for Canadian mines with old and new colonial tricks to mow down Indigenous defenders of the land.
53 per cent of Peruvians live in poverty. Mining companies leave behind contamination, labor unrest and social decay. 50% of the 229 social conflicts are related to opposition of resource extraction. Jose de Echave, former vice-minister of the Environment, says Canadian companies are causing mining conflicts and deaths.
Vancouver-based Candente Copper is building a copper mine in northern Peru’s fragile tropical forests. The local Cañaris indigenous people say this would destroy their water and livelihood. By law the government must consult them. To get around the law the government declared the Cañaris as “non-indigenous”. Though 95% voted against the mine, the company is proceeding.
In January 2013 the Peruvian police fired on and tear-gassed about 400 protesting Quechua. At least 25 were injured. A dialogue was set-up. The Indigenous were refused entry into the meeting.
In Peru’s southern Andes, Macusani Yellowcake, a small Toronto-based company, is attacking Indigenous opposition to the the first Peruvian uranium project. Peru has no safety regulations on mining and transportation of radio-active material. Most roads are barely travelable around sheer mountain cliffs. Electricity is almost non-existent and water is scarce. The Quechua herd llamas and grow potatoes. Some selected community “leaders” were bribed to sign agreements with the company.
At Barrick’s Lagunas Norte gold mine, in northern Peru, Canadians constantly stir up civil strife. Harper directs Canada’s International Development Agency CIDA to fund and carry out the mining industry’s brutality.
Canadian corporations’ inhumanity is not monitored. Taxpayers and Indigenous funds are financing these human rights abuses. As U2 described the horror: “Midnight, our sons and daughters Were cut down and taken from us. Hear their heartbeat, We hear their heartbeat.” “Mothers of the Disappeared”
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