Such a pretty ring: gold mining in the Third World (and why you shouldn’t support WWF and CARE)
Posted by Charles II on July 1, 2013
Rachel Deutsch, The Dominion via Upside Down World:
EL PORVENIR—There are some things Goldcorp would probably rather forget about its San Martin mine in Honduras.
But Oneyda Velásquez can’t forget. She lives three kilometres from the mine site in the Siria Valley, Honduras. She told The Dominion how both she and her children were tested and found to have heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic in their blood. She said that since the opening of the mine, her family’s health has gotten worse and the farming isn’t the same either. “[My children] are constantly sick with the cold, headaches, and they have marks on their skin. [Goldcorp subsidiary] Entremares is the mine that’s killing us,” said Velásquez.
The San Martin gold mine operated from 2000 to 2008, but local residents continue to feel its impacts. As production was winding down, Goldcorp, a Vancouver-based mining firm, claimed that the site would be converted into an ecological centre under the name of the San Martin Foundation—an attempt to re-brand the former mine as an ecotourism site. According to Goldcorp, the company has constructed an ecotourism hotel, a training centre for local communities and a sustainable business.
From the time of its arrival in the Siria Valley, Goldcorp framed mining as development. In its global operations, the company has collaborated with NGOs funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), particularly the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and CARE. Goldcorp boasts of these collaborations in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports, but no such projects have been undertaken locally in the Siria Valley.
Goldcorp claims to work with and fund CARE to “refine and expand the sustainable community investment guidelines, and optimize new opportunities to benefit local communities and national economies.” CARE receives CIDA funding for its work in Honduras and elsewhere; CARE received $5 million from CIDA for its water and sanitation projects in Honduras between 2006 and 2012, as well as close to $53,000 for general operations in Honduras, and another $13 million for further projects for 2010 to 2017.
5 Responses to “Such a pretty ring: gold mining in the Third World (and why you shouldn’t support WWF and CARE)”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.