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Canadian embassy accused of supporting corporate economic interests before human rights

In a report recently published by MiningWatch Canada and the United Steelworkers, the Canadian embassy in Mexico is accused of misusing their diplomatic relations to enforce economic interests of a Canadian mining company at the expense of the Mexican miners.1
Moreover, the report reveals breaches of the contract concerning land usage and labour rights in the silver, lead and zinc mine “La Platosa” operated by the Canadian mining company Excellon Resources. According to the report, the Canadian company failed to build a water treatment system and to employ local workforce, as set down in the contract signed by the landowners and Excellon in 2008. In addition, the mining company used far more land than agreed to in the contract, and many union members were dismissed from their jobs because of their activities for the union.
After some failed attempts to enter into dialogue with Excellon, 70 landowners and miners started a peaceful blockade of the mine entrance in July 2012.2
Concerning the Canadian Embassy, the report raises the allegation of unauthorized transmission of sensitive information from the legal counsel of the landowners to Excellon without their knowledge. Furthermore, the embassy supported the company to lobby important public authorities. The success of the lobbying came to light when approximately 100 soldiers and policemen cleared the protest camp at the end of August 2012. Afterwards Excellon was able to continue its activities in the “La Platosa” mine.2

This is not the first time that the Canadian Embassy in Mexico supported domestic companies. In a report published in May 20133, the authors (MiningWatch Canada, United Steelworkers and Common Frontiers) blamed the Canadian Embassy of influencing land distribution processes, favouring the Canadian company Blackfire, without the final consent of the local inhabitants.

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