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Canadian Mining in Guatemala

After indigenous peoples' houses were burnt to the ground on land owned by a Vancouver mining company, Avi Lewis gets the company's version of events.

October 16, 2008

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The Steven Schnoor video Avi is referring to...

Please see "Violent Evictions at El Estor, Guatemala" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q20YxkM-CGI - there is also a lot of the documentation Avi refers to on the MiningWatch Canada and Rights Action web sites. See also http://www.thismagazine.ca/issues/2007/03/miningmisery.php .

What Grant does _not_ say is that the reason the land had been vacant is that people had been evicted in the 1960s and 70s to make way for the mine, and their families were trying to reclaim land that the company was not even using. He also doesn't mention the massacre at Panzos or the assassinations that have been directly linked to INCO, and that marked the beginning of the internal conflict.

El Estor on Off the Map

The video Jamie is referring to is also available here:


A side-note to this piece by Avi Lewis is that initially, given that I witnessed the evictions, I was supposed to have appeared alongside Mr. Grant from Skye. However the company didn't want to go on if I went on. They were successful in pressuring Avi to keep me off the show. It was disappointing to see how one-sided Avi's broadcast ended up being, because though he tried to be critical, the company basically got to defend themselves the whole time.

One quick point of clarification: the Panzós Massacre took place in 1978. The internal conflict in Guatemala officially began in 1960, though some argue that it started after the CIA engineered coup d'état there in 1954.

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