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Manuela Picq

Self-Determination as Anti-Extractivism: How Indigenous Resistance Challenges World Politics

Self-Determination as Anti-Extractivism: How Indigenous Resistance Challenges World Politics Print
Written by Manuela Picq
Monday, 02 June 2014 19:46
This article was originally published in E-International Relations’ free-to-download Edited Collection, Restoring Indigenous Self Determination: Theoretical and Practical Approaches. Republished under a Creative Commons License.

Indigeneity is an unusual way to think about International Relations (IR). Most studies of world politics ignore Indigenous perspectives, which are rarely treated as relevant to thinking about the international (Shaw 2008; Beier 2009). Yet Indigenous peoples are engaging in world politics with a dynamism and creativity that defies the silences of our discipline (Morgan 2011). In Latin America, Indigenous politics has gained international legitimacy, influencing policy for over two decades (Cott 2008; Madrid 2012). Now, Indigenous political movements are focused on resisting extractive projects on autonomous territory from the Arctic to the Amazon (Banerjee 2012; Sawyer and Gómez 2012). Resistance has led to large mobilized protests, invoked international law, and enabled alternative mechanisms of authority. In response, governments have been busy criminalizing Indigenous claims to consultation that challenge extractive models of development. Indigenous opposition to extractivism ultimately promotes self-determination rights, questioning the states’ authority over land by placing its sovereignty into historical context. In that sense, Indigeneity is a valuable approach to understanding world politics as much as it is a critical concept to move beyond state-centrism in the study of IR.

The Consolidation of Indigenous Resistance against Extractivism

Indigenous peoples are contesting extractive projects in various, complementary ways. Collective marches have multiplied as an immediate means of resistance throughout the Americas. In 2012, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador led thousands of people on a 15-day, 400-mile March for Life, Water, and the Dignity of Peoples, demanding a new water law, the end of open-pit mining, and a stop to the expansion of oil concessions. Within days, a similar mobilization took over Guatemala City. The Indigenous, Peasant, and Popular March in Defense of Mother Earth covered 212 kilometers to enter the capital with nearly 15,000 people protesting mining concessions, hydroelectric plants, and evictions. In Bolivia, various marches demanded consultation as the government prepared to build a highway within the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isidoro Sécure (TIPNIS). From Canada’s Idle No More movement to the protests against damming the Xingú River Basin in Brazil, Indigenous movements are rising and demanding they be allowed to participate in decisions affecting their territories.

Protests are at the core of global Indigenous agendas. In 2013, the Fifth Continental Summit of Indigenous Peoples of the Abya Yala encouraged communities to step-up resistance in light of the threat posed by state-sponsored extractivism. This is what Indigenous women were doing when they walked from Amazon territories to Quito, Ecuador, denouncing government plans to drill without consultation in the Yasuní reserve. Local protests are not trivial or irrelevant in world politics. Rather, they are part of a larger effort to transform local concerns into international politics.

Indigenous peoples have remarkable expertise in international law and are savvily leveraging their rights to consultation and self-determination guaranteed in the ILO Convention 169 (1989) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) (UN General Assembly 2008). They have won emblematic legal battles at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), at times obliging states to recognize Indigenous territorial authority. In the decade-long case of Sarayaku v. Ecuador, the IACHR upheld the right of free, prior, and informed consent with a binding sentence against the Ecuadoran State for allowing a foreign oil company to encroach on ancestral lands without consultation during the 1990s. A 2011 petition by communities of the Xingú River basin led the IACHR to order Brazil’s government to halt the construction of the Belo Monte Dam. The Mayan Q’eqchi’ expanded jurisdiction by taking Hudbay Minerals to Court in Canada for crimes committed at an open-pit nickel mine in Guatemala. In Canada, two Manitoba First Nations used their own legal systems in 2013 to serve eviction notices to mining companies operating illegally on their land.1

International pressure is significant, yet states frequently eschew what they perceive to be uncomfortable mechanisms of accountability. Courts may validate Indigenous resistance, and UN reports warn against the catastrophic impact of extractive industries, but Brazil continued to build the Belo Monte Dam and Peru’s government did not consider suspending the Camisea gas project of drilling 18 wells on protected territories that have been home to Amazonian peoples in voluntary isolation (Feather 2014). Nevertheless, states that evade prior consultation obligations only foster Indigenous inventiveness. In the absence of official mechanisms of consultation, people establish autonomous ones. Local communities of the Kimsacocha area took matters in their own hands after years of being ignored, demanding Ecuador’s government consult them on a mining project in the highlands. In 2011, they organized a community-based consultation without the authorization of the state that was nevertheless legitimized by the presence of international observers (Guartambel 2012). The community voted 93% in favour of defending water rights and against mining in the area. Autonomous forms of prior consultation are increasingly common in Latin America. In Guatemala alone, there have been over sixty community-based consultations since 2005 (MacLeod and Pérez 2013).

Contesting States of Extraction

Indigenous resistance has been the target of severe government repression, ranging from judicial intimidation to assassinations of activists. Mobilizations against the Congo mine in Cajamarca, Peru, led President Ollanta Humala to declare a state of emergency and unleash military repression. An estimated 200 activists were killed in Peru between 2006 and 2011 for resisting extractivism (Zibechi 2013). Colombia’s government, in turn, declared protests against the mining industry illegal. In Ecuador, about 200 people have been criminalized for contesting the corporatization of natural resources. Many have been charged with terrorism. Violent repression against TIPNIS protesters in Bolivia revealed that even Evo Morales, Latin America’s first elected Indigenous president, is willing to use force to silence demands for consultation. Various activists opposing the multinational mining giant AngloGlod Ashanti have been assassinated. Argentina’s Plurinational Indigenous Council, which calls for an end to extractivism, has recorded eleven assassinations since 2010. The Observatory of Mining Conflicts in Latin America (OCMAL) estimates there are currently 195 active conflicts due to large-scale mining. Peru and Chile lead the list with 34 and 33 conflicts respectively, followed by Mexico with 28, Argentina with 26, Brazil with 20, and Colombia with 12. Mega-mining alone affects nearly 300 communities, many of which are located on Indigenous territories.

This wave of intense criminalization indicates the expansion of the extractive frontier. In Peru, where anti-extractivist unrest toppled two cabinets under the Humala government and led to the militarization of several provinces, mineral exploration expenditures increased tenfold in a decade. In 2002, 7.5 million hectares of land had been granted to mining companies; by 2012 the figure jumped to almost 26 million hectares, or 20% of the country’s land. Nearly 60% of the province of Apurímac has been granted to mining companies. In Colombia, about 40% of land is licensed to, or being solicited by, multinational companies for mineral and crude mining projects (Peace Brigades International 2011). According to OCMAL, 25% of the Chile’s territory was under exploration or operation as of 2010. In 2013, Mexico’s government opened the state-controlled energy sector to foreign investment, changing legislation to allow private multinationals to prospect for the country’s oil and natural gas resources for the first time since 1938.

The problem is that governments are largely licensing Indigenous land. In 2010, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues reported that Colombian mining concessions had been awarded in 80% of the country’s legally recognized Indigenous territories. Colombia’s government has 8.8 million hectares of Indigenous reserves designated as oil areas and granted 168 mining licenses on Indigenous reserves in 2011. Extractive industries lead to evictions, toxic waste, and resource scarcity, creating conflicts over water, soil, and subsoil. Open-pit mining uses unsustainable amounts of water. The controversial Marlin mine, partly funded by the World Bank in 2004, and today fully owned by Goldcorp, uses in one hour the water that a local family uses over 22 years (Van de Sandt 2009).2 In Chile, mining consumes 37% of the electricity produced in the country – which will reach 50% in a few years – compared to 28% for industry and 16% for the residential sector. This requires the Chilean State to continually expand energy sources, thereby accelerating displacement and the transfer of agricultural land to hydroelectric projects.

Conflicts against extractivism should not be dismissed as only concerning Indigenous peoples. They encompass larger debates about the role of extractivism in politics and contest a development model based on the corporatization of natural resources. In particular, they reveal the continuous role of resource exploitation as a strategy to finance states. Governments are prioritizing extractive industries as key engines of growth, although there is ample evidence that extractive industries create relatively few jobs. President Juan Manuel Santos promised to turn Colombia into a mining powerhouse because it attracts quick investment. Opening Ecuador to mega-mining financed much of President Correa’s third re-election. In fact, his unexpected policy shift to approve drilling within the Yasuní Reserve is explained largely by his government’s urgent need for cash. China, which holds over 35% of Ecuador’s foreign debt and financed 12% of its budget in 2013, buys about 60% of the country’s oil and is expected to pre-buy Yasuní oil (Guevara 2013).

Indigenous claims against extractive projects contest a world system based on predation and usurpation. In Guatemala, mining is managed by long-standing political elites and inscribed in the colonial genealogy of power. In many instances, the entrepreneurs promoting mining today are the scions of the same oligarchical families that have controlled Indigenous land and peoples for centuries (Casaús 2007). The political economy of extractivism encompasses global inequalities of exploitation, within and among states. About 75% of the world’s mining companies are registered in Canada, and most operate in the so-called Global South (Deneault et al. 2012). Extractive industries in the North rely on alliances with national elites to exploit natural resources of peoples and places historically marginalized from power politics.

Indigeneity as a Way to Rethink International Relations

Claims against extractivism are ultimately claims to the right of self-determination. The unilateral expropriation of land for mining today is a continuation of the Doctrine of Discovery. It conceptualized the New World as terra nullis, authorizing colonial powers to conquer and exploit land in the Americas. It also paved the way for a paradigm of domination that outlasted colonial times to evolve into a broader – and more resilient – self-arrogated right of intervention embodied by the modern state (Wallerstein 2006). Today, the idea of “empty” lands survives in extractivist practices. Large-scale mining by multinational corporations perpetuates the human abuse and resource appropriation initiated by Spanish colonizers centuries ago in the Bolivian mines of Potosi. International rights to self-determination may have replaced Papal Bulls, yet the political economy of looting natural resources on Indigenous lands continues, now in the name of development.

In this context, Indigeneity is a privileged site for the study of international relations. First and foremost, the extent and sophistication of Indigenous political praxis is relevant to any explanation of world politics. The rise of anti-extractivism as a politics of contestation against state exploitation calls for alternative sites of governance, such as the Inuit Circumpolar Council (Shadian 2013). Indigenous claims are shaping political practice, framing international legislation, and destabilizing assumptions about stateness. They seek the redistribution of rights as much as the uprooting of the concentration of power in the state. In that sense, Indigenous claims to consultation challenge the authority of states over natural resources as much as Westphalian forms of sovereignty.

Second, Indigeneity disrupts state sovereignty (Ryser 2012). The UNDRIP became the longest and most hotly debated human rights instrument in UN history because the expansion of Indigenous rights is intrinsically related to issues of state authority over territory. Rights to self-determination entail the recognition of plural forms of territorial authority in competition with states. Indigeneity is attributed to peoples who have historically been excluded from projects of state-making. Yet it contributes much more than making visible historically excluded groups. It refers to a politics that both precedes the state and lies outside of it. It is the constitutive “other” of the modern state, marked by a co-constitutive history that explains why Indigenous politics vary depending on different processes of state-formation. Consequently, Indigeneity is vital to a discipline dedicated to studying relations among states precisely because it is intrinsically related to state-formation. Standing outside of, and prior to, the state makes Indigenous standpoints valuable in terms of thinking critically about world politics and imagining what post-national political assemblages may look like (Sassen 2008).

Finally, Indigeneity is a strategic perspective in expanding scholarly debates on what constitutes IR. Indigenous experiences complement and broaden official national histories with forgotten or repressed narratives (O’Brien 2010), thus expanding methodological assumptions on how to do IR (Jackson 2010). Its precedence over the modern state encompasses alternative worldviews to think about the international beyond stateness. Indigeneity thus defies core epistemological foundations about power. In particular, it historicizes the state and sovereignty, moving away from Eurocentric conceptions of the world (Hobson 2012) and breaking with the discipline’s unreflective tendencies (Tickner 2013). The vibrancy of Indigenous struggles not only confirms the inadequacy of the state, echoing calls to provincialize Europe’s political legacies (Chakrabarty 2000), but it also provides concrete experiences of what the international can actually look like within and beyond the state (Tickner and Blaney 2013). Indigeneity is therefore doubly valuable for world politics. In addition to contributing alternative praxis of the international, it instigates critical theory to expand disciplinary borders.


Indigeneity is a valuable category of analysis for world politics. Indigenous experiences offer a fuller understanding of the world we live in. Integrating indigenous perspectives in the study of IR speaks to the ability to extend our political practice beyond the ivory tower. It is not a category of analysis that concerns merely Indigenous peoples, just as racism is not a matter for people of African descent only, or post-colonial studies the domain of previously colonized societies. The entire thrust of Indigeneity is that the non-state is the business of the state, and that there are alternative pathways available to decolonize the discipline.

Stripping IR of its state-centrism invites us to reflect upon the entrenched colonialism of international relations. Indigenous perspectives will hopefully inspire scholars to adventure beyond the conventional borders of the discipline. After all, opening an alternative locus of authority is nothing short of revolutionary.

Article originally published in E-IR’s free-to-download Edited Collection, Restoring Indigenous Self Determination: Theoretical and Practical Approaches. Republished under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) license

Banerjee, S. (2012) Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point. New York: Seven Stories Press.
Beier, J.M. (2009) International Relations in Uncommon Places: Indigeneity, Cosmology, and the Limits of International Theory. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Casaús, M. E. (2007) Guatemala: Linaje y racismo. Guatemala: F&G Editores.
Chakrabarty, D. (2008) Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Cott, D.L.V. (2008) Radical democracy in the Andes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Deneault, A., Denis, M. and Sacher, W. (2012) Paradis sous terre: comment le Canada est devenu la plaque tournante de l’industrie minie`re mondiale. Montre´al: E´cosocie´te´.
Feather, C. (2014) Violating rights and threatening lives: The Camisea gas project and indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation. Moreton-in-Marsh, United Kingdom: Forest Peoples Programme.
Guartambel, C.P. (2012) Agua u oro: Kimsacocha, la resistencia por el água. Cuenca, Ecuador: Universidad Estatal de Cuenca.
Guevara, F. E. (2013, December 10) “La explotación del Yasuní: reprimarizacioón de la economía del Ecuador.” Opción- Ecuador.
Hobson, J.M. (2012) The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory 1760-2010. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jackson, P.T. (2010) The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for the Study of World Politics. New York: Routledge.
MacLeod, M. and Pérez, C. (2013) Tu’n Tklet Qnan Tx’otx’, Q’ixkojalel, b’ix Tb’anil Qanq’ib’il, En defensa de la Madre Tierra, sentir lo que siente el otro, y el buen vivir. La lucha de Doña Crisanta contra Goldcorp. México: CeActl.
Madrid, R.L. (2012) The Rise of Ethnic Politics in Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Morgan, R. (2011) Transforming Law and Institution: Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations and Human Rights. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate.
O’Brien, J.M. (2010) Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
Peace Brigades International. (2011) “Mining in Colombia: At What Cost?” Colombia Newsletter, 18: 1–47.
Self-Determination as Anti-Extractivism
Ryser, R.C. (2012) Indigenous Nations and Modern States: The Political Emergence of Nations Challenging State Power. New York: Routledge.
Sassen, S. (2008) Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Sawyer, S. and Gomez, E.T. (2012) The Politics of Resource Extraction: Indigenous Peoples, Multinational Corporations and the State. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shadian, J.M. (2013) The Politics of Arctic Sovereignty: Oil, Ice and Inuit Governance. New York: Routledge.
Shaw, K. (2008) Indigeneity and Political Theory: Sovereignty and the limits of the political. New York: Routledge.
Tickner, A.B. (2013) “Core, periphery and (neo)imperialist International Relations.” European Journal of International Relations, 19(3): 627–46.
Tickner, A.B. and Blaney, D.L. (2013) Claiming the International. New York: Routledge.
UN General Assembly. (2008) United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples resolution / adopted by the General Assembly. 2 October 2007, UN. Doc. A/RES/61/295.
Van de Sandt, J. (2009) Mining Conflicts and Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala. The Hague: Cordaid.
Wallerstein, I.M. (2006) European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power. New York: The New Press.
Zibechi, R. (2013, October 27) “Latin America Rejects the Extractive Model in the Streets.” Americas Program. Available at: (Accessed 29 January 2014).Endnotes
1 A delegation from the Red Sucker Lake First Nation descended on the work camp of Mega Precious Metals, Inc., a mineral exploration company, to stop them from working and demand that they vacate the land immediately. The Mathias Colomb First Nation issued a similar order to Hudbay Mining and Smelting Co., Ltd. and the Province of Manitoba.
2 According to the company’s own social and environmental impact report, the Marlin mine consumes about 250 thousand liters of water every hour (MacLeod and Pérez 2013).

M4-Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo Extractivo Minero

M4 Denounces: Gold Corp is unworthy of awards, we demand justice

Sorry, this entry is only available in Mexican Spanish. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Estimad@s compañer@s

Hemos recibido este llamamiento.

Por favor: personas y organizaciones leer, firmar la denuncia ( a través del enlace al final del mensaje) y difundir. Es un pedido de solidaridad de parte del Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo Extractivo Minero M4

Muchas Gracias,
Guadalupe, Salva la Selva

Exigimos a la empresa canadiense GoldCorp Inc. una Rendición de Cuentas Corporativas por los daños a la salud y el ambiente que sus minas provocan en nuestros territorios así como a las respectivas autoridades gubernamentales y no gubernamentales la anulación de los “premios” que han otorgado a la compañía.
¡La Sociedad está Harta de Tanta Simulación!

A los accionistas de la Goldcorp.
A los gobiernos de Canadá, Estados Unidos, Honduras, Guatemala y México.
A la Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA)/México.
Al Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía (CEMEFI).
A la Alianza para la Responsabilidad Social Empresarial (ALIARSE).
A la Cámara Minera de México (CAMIMEX).
A la Opinión Pública nacional e internacional.
Este 1ro de Mayo de 2014 los accionistas de la Goldcorp llevarían a cabo su reunión anual en la cual, una vez más, adularán la simulación y engordarán sus mentiras en torno a los diferentes proyectos de extracción que tienen en las Américas, mientras las comunidades y pueblos indígenas y campesinos sufren las graves consecuencias que este modelo extractivo minero que ha ocasionado en sus vidas, salud, cultura y naturaleza.
Cientos de testimonios, evidencias científicas, denuncias ante tribunales, reportajes y pruebas de laboratorios demuestran cómo esta empresa violenta y viola recurrentemente derechos humanos de pueblos y comunidades: (Continuar leyendo…)


Report on mining in Oaxaca presented in San Cristóbal

On April 11, the report “Justice for San José del Progreso” was presented in San Cristóbal, the result of a Civil Observation Mission that took place in November 2012. The report demonstrates the systematic violations to human rights resulting from the imposition of the mining project developed by Fortuna Silver Mines since 2006. In the press conference, organized by International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), the case of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, was also discussed. There the population has struggled since 2008 against the serious violations caused by the canadian mining company Blackfire Exploration, which in 2009 resulted in the murder of activist Mariano Abarca.

Gustavo Castro (Otros Mundos Chiapas) – Context of mining in Mexico

(Descarga aquí)  

Neftali Reyes (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa – EDUCA) – On the case of San José del Progreso, Oaxaca

(Descarga aquí)  

Roberto Ortiz (Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life in Chicomuselo “Samuel Ruiz”) – On the case of Chicomuselo, Chiapas.

(Descarga aquí)  

(Continuar leyendo…)

Campaña Gold Corp. ¡Me Enferma!

Gold Corp. makes me sick! campaign

Radio Zapatista

Radio Zapatista’s News Report

News report (in Spanish) by Radio Zapatista, with news from Chiapas and the Sixth in Mexico and the world.

(Descarga aquí)  

In this edition:


  • Persiste la violencia contra familias desplazadas del ejido Puebla
  • Ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón denuncian nuevo intento de despojo
  • Siguen llegando manifestaciones de solidaridad con las bases de apoyo ante ataques al ejido 10 de Abril
  • El CIP Palenque fue resucitado
  • El Frayba celebra 25 años con foro internacional de derechos humanos
  • Denuncia de Alejandro Díaz Santis, solidario de la Voz del Amate, preso en Chiapas
  • 8 de marzo: Campaña popular contra la violencia hacia las mujeres y el feminicidio en Chiapas
  • Piden disculpa a indígena guatemalteca discriminada en SCLC
  • Mujeres de Tila marchan
  • Denuncian agresión contra defensor de derechos humanos
  • San Francisco en defensa del territorio


  • Creciente descontento contra los megaproyectos
  • Agresiones a la comunidad indígena de Zacualpan, Comala, Colima
  • Fallece el filósofo y compañero don Luís Villoro
  • Vía Campesina hace llamado para día internacional de las luchas en defensa de las semillas
  • Convocatoria a homenaje a Bety Cariño

Subscribe to the RZ news report here.

We Are Not Zombies

In Defense of the Sierra: Video on Mining in Baja California

Gold extraction seems to be more costly that it appears to be. Dried water mantles, lost agriculture cycles, entire towns abandoned. Know what it’s going on in Baja California Sur, and what is to be done to defend the sierra.

Colectivo Lo de Menos, Colima

Colectivo Lo de Menos denuncia presiones y agresiones a la comunidad indígena de Zacualpan, Comala, Colima

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Colectivo lo de menos: Contra presiones y agresiones a la comunidad indígena de Zacualpan, Comala, Colima.


Al pueblo de México.
Al pueblo de Colima:

Nuestro colectivo de cultura alternativa “Lo de Menos” adherente a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona y miembro de la Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad (RvsR). Manifestamos nuestro profundo rechazo a las presiones y agresiones que han sufrido hombres y mujeres habitantes de la comunidad indígena de Zacualpan, Municipio de Comala en el estado de Colima, por rechazar el proyecto minero que les quieren imponer; así como, a las personas de las organizaciones que les han acompañado. Estas agresiones han sido perpetradas por caciques locales, el empresario y las autoridades agrarias oficiales.

Reivindicamos el derecho constitucional que tenemos todos y todas las y los mexican@s de participar en todas las luchas políticas y sociales, en todo el territorio nacional, así como el derecho que tienen todas la comunidades de defender su territorio.

Exigimos el cese inmediato a todas las formas de violencia en contra de las personas que resisten a dicho proyecto.

Reiteramos nuestra sororidad y solidaridad con nuestr@s herman@s en pie de lucha.

“Nada sin el conocimiento y consentimiento de todos los afectados”

Colectivo lo de Menos, Colima, Col. 06 de marzo de 2014.

Fronteras Comunes/Alerta Minera/Consejo de Canadienses

Costa Rica battle Infinito Gold mining company

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Más de un cuarto de millón de personas apoyan a Costa Rica frente a una inminente batalla legal internacional con la minera canadiense Infinito Gold


(Ottawa/Toronto) Una petición circulando actualmente en obtuvo unas 300,000 firmas en poco más de una semana.

Esta petición, con versiones en inglés tanto como en español, hace un llamado a la empresa minera Infinito Gold con sede en Calgary, Canadá, de poner fin a la amenaza de demandar a Costa Rica por mas de $1 mil millones con relación al proyecto minero Crucitas en el área fronterizo con Nicaragua cercana al rió San Juan.

La empresa minera perdió en su intento de construir una mina a raíz de sucesivos fallos en la Corte Suprema de Costa Rica entre el 2010 y el 2011 y ha amenazado con demandar a Costa Rica ante el tribunal internacional de inversiones del Banco Mundial (CIADI) en donde la minera pretende ‘extraer’ del país una ganancia multimillonaria.

Dado el rotundo éxito obtenido en contra de un sistema injusto que permite a las empresas foráneas pasar por encima del sistema judicial nacional de un Estado y las decisiones de un gobierno soberano cuando estos no le sirvan a sus intereses, manifestamos lo siguiente:

A Infinito Gold:

Su amenaza de llevar a Costa Rica a un arbitraje internacional se esta transformando rápidamente en una causa global desenmascarando los problemas creados por un sistema internacional de inversiones construido a través de acuerdos de libre comercio (TLCs) y de acuerdos de protección para el inversionista extranjero (FIPA por sus siglas en inglés) que pretenden priorizar las ganancias de las empresas por encima del bienestar de las comunidades, trabajadores, y el medio ambiente.

Nosotros exigimos que su empresa cese de inmediato con este proceso y que deponga de las acciones penales por supuesta difamación que han interpuesto en contra de un ambientalista y dos legisladores.

Según el más reciente estado de cuenta su situación económica bordea insolvencia y solamente sobrevive cortesía a sucesivos préstamos de su accionista más grande. Para dar con el paradero de estos préstamos se puede seguir la pista hasta llegar al multi-millonario de Calgary, el Sr. Ronald Mannix, quien hubiera podido exigir la liquidación de esos préstamos hace tiempo atrás. ¿Por qué no  lo ha hecho?

Al gobierno de Costa Rica:

Esperemos que esta noticia grata del efusivo y masivo apoyo dé aliento al gobierno de Costa Rica para mantenerse firme en defensa de la protección del medio ambiente por medio de la prohibición de la minería química a cielo abierto y en contra del proyecto Crucitas acorde a los fallos sucesivos de la Corte Suprema de su país.

Respetuosamente le instamos a seguir adelante con investigaciones penales entabladas contra altos funcionarios de la previa administración Arias (2006-2010), y a la cual añadiríamos al ex-Presidente Oscar Arias, acusados del presunto delito de otorgar a Infinito Gold un permiso para explotar cuando estaba vigente una moratoria prohibiendo la minería a cielo abierto. Nos preocupa el potencial de ejercer influencia que una supuesta donación de Ronald Mannix, el accionista mayor de Infinito Gold, a la Fundación Arias en 2008 pudiese haber tenido sobre tal decisión y continuaremos exigiendo que las autoridades canadienses divulgan toda la información pertinente al caso.

Esperemos que la futura administración buscara retirar Costa Rica de las medidas legales (tal como el FIPA firmado con Canadá en 1999) que arriesga a Costa Rica a un arbitraje internacional que sirve para proteger a los intereses de las corporaciones a espaldas del bien común.

Al pueblo de Costa Rica:

Como canadienses compartimos esta muestra de solidaridad en apoyo a su lucha continua en contra de procesos legales tanto injustos como recriminatorios que la empresa Infinito Gold hace tiempo inicio en contra de varios profesores universitarios, abogados, y legisladores en un intento de hacer valer los intereses corporativos contra la voluntad popular. Esperemos que este espaldarazo sirva de apoyo a sus esfuerzos para garantizar al futuro un ambiente sano y ecológicamente equilibrado.

Al gobierno de Canadá:

Durante los últimos 20 años Canadá ha buscado y ha negociado acuerdos de comercio e inversiones que promueven y protegen los derechos de inversionistas a costa de los derechos humanos, derechos laborales y de las consideraciones ambientales. La conducta de empresas mineras como las de Infinito Gold en Costa Rica son el resultado de esa agenda. Canadá debe de revisar y renegociar sus actuales acuerdos comerciales y de inversiones y seguir una agenda de inversiones basada en un respeto fundamental para los derechos humanos, el de las comunidades, de los trabajadores, y en favor del medio ambiente.

Reiteramos la llamada que hicimos el 16 de abril de 2013 en donde en una carta abierta al CEO de Infinito Gold con copia al Ministro de Comercio Internacional para Canadá, Ed Fast, habíamos exigido que el gobierno canadiense inmediatamente haga publico toda la información que tenga a mano relacionada con este caso, e inclusive la información solicitada en cartas rogatorias enviados a Canadá sobre la supuesta transferencia fondos a la Fundación Arias  por parte del mayor impulsor de Infinito Gold, Ronald Mannix.

El Departamento de Justicia-Canadá fue la entidad gubernamental que originalmente respondió a la primera carta rogatoria del Fiscal de Costa Rica, y que por su parte ha aclarado que la respuesta inicial de Canadá no toco en las preguntas centrales hechas. Posteriormente el Departamento de Justicia-Canadá denegó un pedido hecho de ‘acceso a información’ de hacer publico el texto de la respuesta canadiense a la rogatoria de Costa Rica. En este momento la denegación esta siendo apelada a través de la Oficina del Comisionado de Información. Esta información debe de hacerse pública y las preguntas hechas por el Fiscal de Costa Rica deben de recibir una respuesta detallada y precisa sin más preludio.

Al pueblo de Canadá:

Son muchos los visitantes que llegan a Costa Rica desde Canadá conociendo de la reputación ampliamente reconocida de un país que cuida de su ecología, reputación que rápidamente puede ser amenazado por el espectro de minería al cielo abierto operando en áreas ecológicamente altamente sensibles del país. Como canadienses con una visión global necesitamos continuar trabajado en solidaridad con comunidades afectadas por la minería, y en nuestro propio país continuar educando y alzando nuestras voces en un llamado para una revisión completa de la agenda que hasta ahora Canadá viene persiguiendo para poder asegurar que sea el interés publico y no la ganancia privada, a la cual se le dará prioridad.

Endorsado por:

Alerta Minera-Canadá
El Consejo de Canadienses
Fronteras Comunes-Canadá
Proyecto Planeta Azul
United Steelworkers

Con copias enviadas a:

Presidente y CEO de Infinito Gold en Calgary, Sr. John R Morgan
Torys LLP, Calgary
El Fiscal General de Costa Rica, Sr. Jorge Chavarria
La Ministra de Comercio Exterior, Sra. Anabel González Campabadal
Embajador de Costa Rica en Canadá, Sr. Luis Delgado Murillo
Embajadora de Canadá en Costa Rica, Sra. Wendy Drukier
El Ministro de Comercio Exterior de Canadá, Sr. Ed Fast
El Ministro del Departamento de Justicia-Canadá, Sr. Peter MacKay
La Comisaria de Información de Canadá, Sra. Suzanne Legault
Critico re. Comercio Exterior para el Partido Nuevo Demócrata (NDP), Sr. Don Davies
Critico re. Comercio Internacional para el Partido Liberal, Sr. Marc Garneau
Líder del Partido Verde de Canadá, Sra. Elizabeth May

Para más información:

  • Jen Moore, Alerta Minera Canadá, tel. (613) 569-3439, jen(at)
  • Rick Arnold, anterior Coordinador, Fronteras Comunes – Canadá, rickarnold(at)
  • Mark Rowlinson, Assistente al Director Nacional, United Steelworkers, mrowlinson(at), (416) 544-5952
  • Stuart Trew, Coordinador de la Campaña sobre el Comercio, el Consejo de Canadienses, strew(at) (416) 979-0451
Fronteras Comunes/ Common Frontiers Canadá

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