Thursday, November 3, 2016

Water, Mining & Business

El Salvador Water Warriors Fight Corporate Greed to Win Rights

But with a national water scarcity emergency declared last month, the crisis has reached a tipping point. Water rights advocates are ramping up their already years-long struggle to enshrine the human right to water in El Salvador's constitution and force corporations to play their part in protecting the environment and conserving water for future generations.
Yet, it remains to be seen whether conservative factions in Congress will ease up on their staunch support for private... interests and allow key proposals to move forward.
“Our demand is that water be recognized as a constitutional right,” Jose Maria Argueta, a member of El Salvador’s Foro del Agua coalition of environmental and human rights groups fighting for water rights, told teleSUR by phone. “Currently, there is no entity charged with ensuring the right to water for communities and society in general.”

Civil society groups, together with left-wing lawmakers of the ruling FMLN party, have been working for the past decade to get lawmakers to adopt a General Water Law aimed at protecting the right to water and regulating corporate use of the precious resource, but the proposal has long stagnated in Congress. Grassroots groups are also fighting to get the human right to water and food listed in the constitution to strengthen their movement
. - Rudy Arredondo October 24, 2016 

Rudy, I am forever baffled by the spirit of the mentality behind this crisis. Aside from political activism what? What can change the heart separate from mind? What can join the two at the deeper levels where blending as part and essential to Creation re-enter the deadness of this kind of spirit? - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 10.28.16  

Corporate Conquistadors Rape Indigenous Lands and Bodies 

Mining is about exploitation – not just of the minerals in the ground, but of women as well.
For decades, the primary focus of anti-mining, logging and oil and gas activists has been on the environmental destruction left behind by the extractive industry. It is also a fact that Indigenous peoples worldwide are disproportionately impacted by environmental destruction in their territories caused by these companies with the approval of state governments. Environmental racism has... put all the profits in the hands of corporations at the expense of the health of peoples, plants and animals.

What is less known by the general public are the very unique traumas experienced by Indigenous women when corporations invade their lands and their bodies.

Indigenous women and little girls experience higher rates of sexualized violence from the frontline workers and security forces hired by national and transnational corporations seeking to exploit the natural resources on Indigenous lands. Many state governments have allowed these violent crimes against Indigenous women and girls to occur for decades without taking any substantive steps to hold these corporations accountable. This has resulted in massive human rights violations often ignored, denied, covered up by out of court settlements, or re-routed to confidential alternative dispute processes. The general public is kept in the dark about what these corporations are doing in the name of profit. What is happening is shocking, but gets very little media attention, and worse, very little action from law enforcement and public safety officials in state governments.

Hudbay Minerals Incorporated is a major transnational Canadian mining company that will face court proceedings in Canada for the reported murder of an Indigenous leader and gang rapes of Indigenous women from a Mayan Q’eqchi’ community located on lands near the mine. The rapes are said to have been committed by security forces hired by the Canadian mining company, Skye Resources – the previous owners of the mine before Hudbay purchased it in 2007. - Rudy Arredondo 

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