Monday, September 26, 2011 | Categories: Documentaries
Two weeks ago there was an election in the small central American country of Guatemala. It was dubbed the oligarchs vs. the narco traffickers.
In the weeks leading up to the vote, armoured-car rentals went up by 70%; candidates were gunned down; more than 40 people were killed and no one was particularly surprised. This is the background against which Canadian mining companies have been doing business for the past 50 years, right through the 36 year-long civil war, a war that killed two hundred thousand people, most of them indigenous Mayans.
For the most part, todays violence revolves around the drug cartels and the mines.
Now, the anti mining forces are fighting back in a new way.Guatemalans are launching law suits in Canadian courts against Canadian mining companies.
The latest is a multi million dollar claim against Hud Bay Minerals filed by 11 Mayan women allegedly raped when they were cleared off the land 4 years ago. The law suits are a new tactic in an old war - a war over land: - the government and the mining companies on one side, the Mayans and human rights workers on the other.
Here is Karin Wells' documentary Unfinished Business.