Peoples' Tribunal: Goldcorp guilty of damaging environment and Indigenous communities

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The judges read the verdict against Goldcorp. (Photo: Allan Lissner)

The Peoples' International Health Tribunal came to a close Sunday shortly after the reading of the judges' final deliberation. The panel summarized the facts of the case against Goldcorp that they had heard in the previous day of testimonies regarding health issues, heightened birth defects, the contamination of the environment and lack of consent, as well as the psychological impacts of community division and the criminalization of dissent and the collective health of the community regarding issues such as addiction, an increase in sexually transmitted diseases and gender violence.

The distinguished panel delivered a guilty verdict to Goldcorp, the host countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, as well as the Canadian Government for supporting and promoting in various ways the irresponsible mining investments in Mesoamerica.

The verdict read, in part: 

The judges convened in the town of San Miguel, in the department of San Marcos, Guatemala, on July 14-15, 2012. The judges are from different countries and are specialists in the areas of health, environment and human rights. The purpose of the court was to hear the claims and testimonials from people affected by mining operations of Goldcorp in Carrizalillo in Guerrero, Mexico, Siria Valley in Francisco Morazan, Honduras, and San Miguel and Sipacapa in San Marcos, Guatemala...

In the experiences presented for our consideration regarding how Goldcorp has acted in Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico yesterday and today:

We see the high degree of concurrence between the different accusations around Goldcorp’s systematic strategy in the cases presented as well as the deliberate absence of will to protect the rights of people.

We observe that the facts indicate that the company has not shown an interest in the quality of life for the affected population and that the health impacts constitute one of the most visible social impacts of this lack of interest.

We find that the public image of Goldcorp of being a “socially responsable company” does not fit with the facts presented before this tribunal.

We consider that the facts presented by the witnesses and the testimonies delivered by the affected communities in their testimonies are the most compelling evidence and have sufficient substance to be considered trustworthy and accurate representations of the reality.

We energetically reject the gap between the regulations and their application toward mining in Canada and in Mesoamerica.

For the reasons above described, we find Goldcorp guilty for its activities in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, which we find to be seriously damaging to the health and the quality of life, the quality of environment, and the right to self determination of the affected Indigenous and campesino communities.

We also find the States where the accusations come from guilty of being complicit and irresponsible for not protecting the rights of those affected by mining.

We also find the Government of Canada guilty for supporting and promoting in various ways the irresponsible mining investments in Mesoamerica.

Following the verdict, the judges read recommendations to the communities and demands of Goldcorp and of the States (national, departmental, state and municipal governments).

Read the full verdict here. Read a full, rough transcript of the Tribunal here.

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