Underreported Struggles #24, March 2009

Underreported Struggles #24, March 2009

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John Ahni Schertow
March 31, 2009
 

In this month’s Underreported Struggles: Alarming levels of arsenic found near Goldcorp mine; 25,000 Indigenous people March in Oaxaca; Brazil court affirms Raposa Serra do Sol, orders withdrawal of non-indians; Uranium Company Accused of “Killing Communities” in South Africa.

March 30Alarming levels of arsenic found in rivers near Goldcorp mine – A research team from COPAE has confirmed-beyond all measure of a doubt—that Goldcorp’s Marlin mine in Guatemala, is poisoning local water supplies. (The local community suffers from numerous health problems as a result of contaminants, but Goldcorp claims is because of “bad hygiene.”)

Government considers new uncontacted tribes’ reserves – Peru’s indigenous affairs department (INDEPA) plans to discuss the creation of five new reserves for uncontacted tribes in the remote rainforest. One of the proposed reserves is where the Anglo-French oil company Perenco is currently working. Perenco denies the existence of uncontacted tribes in the region.

March 29Tell CN Rail to drop the lawsuit! – The Tyendinaga Support Committee is putting together a month-long campaign to pressure Canadian National Railway (CNR) to drop their recently announced lawsuit against members of the Mohawk Community of Tyendinaga.

March 27Minister’s Memo Exposes Motives for Removing Algonquin Chief – A secret document obtained by The Dominion reveals Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) decided to replace the leadership of Barriere Lake First Nation, which officials considered “dogmatized,” with a chief and council offering “improved collaboration.”

Solomons Gold Mine Landowners Threaten Roadblock – Land owners of the eastern side of Guadalcanal are planning to set up a road block, frustrated with the inaction of Gold Ridge Management to look at their grievances, which includes cyanide leaking into the environment.

March 26Lipan Apache Chairman: Halt Border Chemical Spraying – The Traditional Chief of the Lipan Apache Band is demanding the government stop spraying their sacred sites with chemicals.

March 25 – 25,000 Indigenous people March in Oaxaca – As many as 25,000 Indigenous people took to the streets in Oaxaca, demanding investigations into the disappearance of their young women, freedom for political prisoners, assistance in rural areas, and a dialogue with the government.

March 23Philippines: Thousands protesting open pit gold mine – Thousands of local villagers in the Masbate province of the Philippines, are in their second week of protesting the “unwelcome and unsafe” presence of the Filminera Mining Corporation (FMC).

March 20Proposed Copper and Gold Mine Project Cannot Proceed without Nak’azdli – The Nak’azdli First Nation today denounced the BC government decision to grant an environmental assessment certificate (EA) to Terrane Metals for a proposed massive mine on Nak’azdli traditional lands.

March 19 – VICTORY! Brazilian court affirms Raposa Serra do Sol, orders withdrawal of non-indians – Raposa Serra do Sol must remain intact, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday, in a decision seen as bolstering indigenous rights.

March 17Updated “Campaigners’ guide to Questionable Funder$” – Mines and Communities has updated their mine-related finance guidebook, “From Money to Metals.” The guide now has records of approx. 500 banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, private funders, private equity firms and some individuals known to provide financial support to mining companies that abuse human rights, indigenous rights, and the environment.

March 16 – Australia’s Ugly Indigenous Land Grab – The Rudd cabinet is rushing through a national land grab in a proposed compulsory forty year scheme holding Aboriginal communities ransom.

China’s 12 huge dams will kill off whole cultures of traditional forest-based peoples – The island of Borneo, a fragile treasure house of rainforests, rare animals and plants, is under threat by series of dams that will cut through virgin land and displace thousands of native Dayak people.

Mapuche Community prepared to resist eviction – A Mapuche community is preparing to resist eviction from their lands in the Aluminé municipality of Argentina’s Neuquen province. The order to evict has not been officially handed down yet, but the community is expecting it soon.

March 15Landless Women Launch Protests Across Brazil – More than six thousand women from Vía Campesina and the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) participated in protests across Brazil on March 9. The direct actions were in celebration of International Women’s Day, and against the government’s continued support of multinational agribusiness in the country.

March 13100 Communities opposed to oil exploration in Peru – As many as 100 indigenous communities in Peru have said they will oppose attempts by the Brazilian state-owned company Petrobras to explore for oil in their territories.

March 12Stop closing schools for the landless and support MST and WSF – In February 2009, authorities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, prompted the closure of seven schools for the landless, claiming that they are being used by the MST to “develop a revolutionary ideology”, “defend socialism,” and “support intolerance”.

March 10 – Niger Delta Villagers Angered Over Waste Dumping – The illegal dumping of untreated waste in Nigeria’s restive Niger Delta has infuriated the local community, which is demanding quick government intervention.

March 9 – Mamanwas lift barricade at Taganito mines – The Mamanwa tribe has lifted the barricade at the entrance of the production site of the Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) in Surigao del Norte. (Backstory)

March 8Uranium Company Accused of “Killing Communities” in South Africa – The Toronto-based mining company, Uranium One—who’s “operations have been made possible with backing from the Canadian Embassy and CIDA”—stands accused of human rights abuses and the systemic violation of workers rights at their Uranium mine in South Africa.

March 5Leaked memo reveals plan to overhaul First Nations governance – Last month APTN broke a story about the Canadian government’s secret plan to “quietly” overhaul First Nations governance. The plan is in effect a re-write of the First Nations Governance Act, which sought to break down the few remaining barriers separating Indigenous People from the Canadian Citizenry.

March 3Yucca Mountain Forever! Obama Rejects Nuclear Waste Site – President Barack Obama, thankfully, made it clear that Yucca Mountain will never be used as radioactive waste dump site, after cutting out the project’s funding in the recently proposed draft federal budget.

Videos of the Month

Women raise their voices against tree plantations – “Women raise their voices” looks at three separate case studies in Nigeria, Brazil, and Papua New Guinea, to reveal the full negative impacts of the monoculture pulp and paper industry on women in local communities.

Poison Fire: Gas and Oil Abuse in Nigeria – Poison Fire is a grassroots documentary that brings together video testimonies and evidence on the impacts of oil spills and gas flaring in the Niger Delta. This is the film in its entirety.

American Holocaust: When It’s All Over I’ll Still Be Indian – The powerful and hard-hitting documentary, American Holocaust, is quite possibly the only film that reveals the link between the Nazi holocaust, which claimed at least 6 million Jews, and the American Holocaust, which has claimed an est. 100 million Indigenous People.

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