Canada and Mexico

NGOs challenge AMLO claims of low number of conflicts with Canadian miners

Bnamericas Published: Monday, January 30, 2023

Mexican civil society organizations track dozens of environmental, labor and human rights conflicts are active with Canadian miners, contradicting comments by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) earlier this month, who mentioned problems with only three companies.

At his daily press conference on January 18, AMLO said of the 125 Canadian miners in the country, one is responsible for problems involving taxes, while the State must take responsibility for security problems in Guerrero, where two companies complained about being extorted by organized crime.

His praise for Canadian miners helping to protect the environment and paying high wages drew criticism from Nodo de Derechos Humanos and Cambiémosla Ya, however.

In a local media column, Cambiémosla Ya member Sol Pérez cited numbers by Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México, which documented 70 mining conflicts, 29 of which corresponding to Canadian companies.

Regional mining conflict observatory Ocmal registered 58 conflicts, while the social science department of Universidad de Chile listed 374 conflicts linked to 134 mining projects and Universidad de Barcelona recorded 149 environmental conflicts in Mexico, of which 32 were linked to mining, according to Pérez.

Environment ministry Semarnat recently notified Minera Cuzcatlán of plans to review the environmental impact statement for its San José mine that was extended in December 2021 for 12 years. Parent Fortuna Silver, a Canadian company, announced a legal challenge to the decision.

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