Showdown in Peru: Indigenous communities kick out Canadian mining company

(Photo: Shantala Robinson)

by Benjamin Dangl

This article appeared at The Dominion.

Earlier this spring, an anti-mining Indigenous movement in Peru successfully ousted a Canadian mining company from their territory. “In spite of government repression, if the people decide to bring the fight to the bitter end, it is possible to resist the pressure of mining and oil companies,” Peruvian activist and journalist Yasser Gómez told The Dominion.

The David and Goliath scenario of this anti-mining uprising highlights the vast economic inequality that has beset Peru. The country’s economy has been booming for the past decade, with a seven per cent growth expected this year—one of the highest growth rates internationally. Sixty-five per cent of the country’s export income comes from the mining industry, and investors are expected to spend over $40 billion in the next 10 years on mining operations.

Yet this growth has not benefited a large percentage of the population. The poverty rate in Peru is just over 31 per cent; in the countryside, two in three people live under the poverty line. Today, there are over 200 communities organized against mining across Peru.

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Continuing Colonialism: World Bank Funds Mining in Africa

The Ahafo gold mine in Ghana, which displaced over 10,000 people

by Cyril Mychalejko

The private finance sector arm of the World Bank Group announced last month that it would invest $300 million to promote mining in Africa.

“Mining is a critically important yet challenging sector and [the International Finance Corporation] IFC has a role to play in supporting responsible companies that will bring jobs, related infrastructure and government revenues to Africa,” said Andrew Gunther, IFC’s Senior Manager of Infrastructure and Natural Resources in Africa and Latin America.

Dr. Aaron Tesfaye, a professor of International Political Economy and African Politics at William Paterson University, said he is not surprised by the announcement because of the economic and security implications mining and strategic metals have for industrialized nations.

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