From May 29th to June 1st, the first hearing of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on the Canadian mining industry will take place in Montréal, during which about 15 witnesses and experts from Latin America will denounce human rights violations and environmental damage caused by Canadian mining companies, with whom the Canadian government is involved.
This will be the 40th session of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT), an institution founded in Italy in 1979 by lawyer and senator Lelio Basso. It is the first session of the PPT to take place in Canada.
Canada is the most important player in the global mining industry. Due to its favourable laws, fiscal and foreign policy,75% of mining companies worldwide are headquartered in Canada and 60% of global mining companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Large-scale mining projects are a major cause of tension: in Latin America, there are currently 200 mining-related social conflicts, with approximately 90 involving Canadian companies.
The Tribunal will examine the role and responsibility of mining companies and the Canadian government in the violation of human and environmental rights in Latin America through the emblematic cases of Pascua Lama (Barrick Gold) in Chile-Argentina; Escobal (Tahoe Resources) in Guatemala; San Martin (Goldcorp) in Honduras; Payback (Blackfire Exploration) and La Platosa (Excellon Resources) in Mexico.