Monday, December 07, 2009

Calgary based mining company implicated in murder of Mexican activist

Canada, and Alberta specifically have already been labeled a corrupt petro-state recently. Now our dirty industries seem to be exporting criminality wherever they do business.

Three men with links to a Canadian mining company have been charged in the killing of a Mexican activist, threatening already strained relations between the countries on the eve of a visit to the same region by Governor-General Michaƫlle Jean.

A spokesman for Calgary-based Blackfire Exploration Ltd. confirmed that an employee, a former employee and a one-time company contractor were arrested in the Nov. 27 murder of Mariano Abarca Robledo, who had led local opposition against Blackfire's barite mine in Chicomuselo, Chiapas.


Canada's miners are lobbying against a private member's bill that would impose sanctions on resource companies found to have committed human rights and environmental abuses in other countries. The government, including Peter Kent, the junior foreign minister for the Americas who is accompanying the Governor-General in Mexico, voted against Bill C-300 during its second reading in April.

The slain activist, Mr. Abarca, was a leader in an organization called Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA), that had publicly protested Blackfire's mine and made allegations that the operation was damaging the environment and contaminating a nearby river. He was gunned down in a drive-by shooting outside his home by a motorcyclist.

Caralampio Lopez Vazquez, who currently works as an operator and a shift supervisor at the mine, is among the three men facing charges in the killing.

Considering the Alberta approach to labour law, environmental protesters and any opposition of any kind - this seems just like an example of how they'd behave here if they thought they could get away with it.

1 comment:

Holly Stick said...

Note that the feds (CIDA) just cut funding to Kairos, which has shown concern about the tarsands, including migrant workers there, and about Canadian mining companies elsewhere:

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