Unceded Algonquin Territory/Ottawa, December 6, 2011 -- The Defenders of the Land (DotL), a network of Indigenous Communities, on Tuesday condemned reports that in 2007, the Harper government established a national and international police surveillance network to spy on Indigenous Peoples and their supporters for defending Indigenous Peoples' self-determination and land rights. The RCMP surveillance operation shared its findings with private industry.
Related rabble.ca story:
For immediate release: March 28, 2011
Toronto, Canada and El Estor, Guatemala:
Rosa Elbira Coc Ich and ten other indigenous Mayan Q'eqchi' women filed a lawsuit Monday against Canadian mining companies HMI Nickel, and its corporate owner, HudBay Minerals, regarding mining-related gang-rapes suffered by them near a Canadian-owned mining site in Guatemala.
On January 17, 2007, the eleven women were gang-raped by mining company security personnel, police and military during the forceful expulsion of Mayan Q'eqchi' families from their farms and homes in the community of "Lote Ocho". These armed evictions were sought by HMI Nickel in relation to its Fenix mining project, located on the north shores of Lake Izabal, Guatemala.
On Oct. 27, the House of Commons narrowly defeated a private members bill, C-300, aimed at ensuring mining companies are accountable and responsible for human rights and environmental standards abroad.
Despite being a Liberal lead private member's bill by MP John McKay, Ignatieff's Whip, Marcel Proulx in caucus during the week of the vote, was quietly encouraging Liberal MPs to stay away from the third reading vote on Wednesday evening to ensure its defeat.
In apparent contradiction, a backgrounder was sent from Ignatieff's office to the caucus members just before the vote that appeared to support the bill.
This is how it read:
An internal memo to CIDA Minister Bev Oda recommending KAIROS continue receiving funding from the aid agency was modified under mysterious circumstances shortly before or after it was signed, reinforcing allegations of political interference.
Meanwhile, other documents show that before it was cut as a CIDA partner, KAIROS was engaged in a heated back-and-forth with diplomats at Canada's embassies in Mexico and Guatemala over the NGO's work on corporate social responsibility and mining.
KAIROS is a faith-based development group that counts among its 11 members the Catholic Church's Development and Peace, the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, the Presbyterian Church of Canada, and the United Church of Canada.