Shaking Hands with the Devil: Canada and Honduras

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America Latina: Around the Canadian Imperium
by Anthony Fenton
On the Latin American front, some recent news and analysis:

Tune in to the latest Canadian Dimension 'Alert' broadcast: "Honduras–based Rights Action worker, Karen Spring, explains that because the current post military coup government is particularly friendly to Canada’s mining interests in Honduras that the Canadian government is blind to that country’s numerous human rights violations including those conducted by death squads."
Anti-coup journalists continue to be targeted for kidnapping and assassination, while, cynically, this week the Canadian government "welcomed the announcement by Honduras that it would establish a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the events leading up to the country’s June 28, 2009, coup d’état."
Former Canadian Ambassador to the US, Michael Kergin, has been appointed an international member of the OAS-sponsored Commission. Whitewashing Canada's support for the coup and indicating how the OAS is attempting to use the commission to legitimate the fraudulent right wing regime that has installed itself, the press release falsely states, "Canada was deeply involved in all efforts to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution to the political impasse in Honduras,  and has committed to assisting the country with its reconciliation process."
[For complete article reference links, please see original at Web of Democracy here.]

- 'Canadian Fact-finding Delegation Discovers Mexican Community Devastated by Mining Activities of Blackfire Exploration': "A Canadian delegation that visited Chiapas, Mexico following the murder of social activist Mariano Abarca and the involvement of several employees of the Calgary-based mining company Blackfire Exploration has concluded that Blackfire should leave Chiapas, and the Canadian Parliament needs to act now to prevent further international mining conflicts from turning deadly..."It is the view of the Abarca family that Blackfire is ultimately, if not directly, responsible for the violence that followed the arrival of the mine, culminating in Mariano [Abarca's] murder," " [Full report of the delegation can be obtained via Mining Watch.]

- In The Tyee, Philip Resnick looks into how Peter Munk's Barrick Gold "has been engaged in using SLAPPs -- Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation -- against two small presses, one in Quebec, one based in Vancouver, that have published or announced an intention to publish books that this august corporation finds offensive to its image." (The (would-be) books are Imperial Canada Inc.: Legal Haven of Choice for the World's Mining Industries and Black Canada – Pillage, Corruption & Criminality in Africa). Resnick concludes: "Something is rotten in the country we call Canada. We may be beginning to suffer from the same vice that the great Mexican poet, Octavio Paz, once noted with respect to the United States, namely the attempt to combine democracy with plutocracy. Great wealth corrupts and the power of a corporation like Barrick, as exemplified in the Talonbooks and Ecosociété cases, is a significant threat to our rights and freedoms, above all to freedom of expression."

- OPSEU is urgently calling on people to get engaged with efforts to stop the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which appears to have the backing of the de facto Conservative-Liberal ruling coalition: “Canada entering into a free trade agreement with Colombia now not only sends the wrong message to Canadians and the Colombian regime, it also may make Canada and Canadian companies complicit or passive supporters of continued violence in Colombia."   

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