Proyecto Minero Pascua Lama

12 de noviembre de 2006

Transnational Mining Tribunal: The Case of Barrick Gold Corporation in Latin America


Santiago de Chile, november 25 and 26

In our communities we find ourselves permanently exposed to the legitimized plunder of the transnational corporations. They rob us of our water, energy, land, our commons, our dignity, our roots, our meanings, they are emptying us, and nobody does anything because we have been convinced that these are the costs of development.

Until recently it was difficult for us to become conscious that this plunder is a deliberate strategy in the logic of neoliberalism, that we indeed pay them to teach us their ways, in the University, on the television, in the church and in the family. It was hard to understand the depth of the complicity between the politicians of the day, the media and the private sector, a complicity to rob us while maintaining us sedated. But more and more of us are waking up, and no more can we continue accepting so much destruction and impunity. When we decide to act, arise the problems of how to act and be heard, to not be repressed, to not be lied to, how to express what we are discovering, in a time when it seems that everyone carries on as though hypnotized, as if the God of Progress demands sacrifices, and that any intent to revel must be eradicated.

We have already tried many mechanisms, some better than others, but all have turned out to be part of a learning process. Now we want to share with you a new initiative in which we hope you will be interested in partipating: We are going to carry out a Transnational Mining Tribunal: The Case of Barrick Gold Corporation in Latin America (Chile, Perú, Argentina).

If institutional justice does not respond to our demands, we will take advantage of our right to create justice ourselves, or, put in another way, we will restore justice. The idea is to organize a court case against Barrick Gold Corporation. The social organizations will level charges against the transnational mining corporation based on our experiences, taking into account current suits regarding how they have systematically violated human rights, labor rights and environmental norms, how they have promoted political, community and economic corruption, and how they have plundered our natural and cultural heritage.

It is thought to incorporate this action within the framework of the Chile Social Forum, on november 25 and 26, taking advantage of the organizing and outreach work already in progress, which will permit us to concentrate our work in developing and arguing our accusations precisely and convincingly.

We understand that Barrick Gold is just one more of the many transnationals intending to lay us to waste, but we believe that it is especially important that they be brought to justice, as this will serve to judge all the mega-corporations operating in the same manner -- to describe their abuses precisely will serve to strengthen our resistance, and the restoration of justice will serve to give sense, meaning and pertinence to all of struggles, which although always legitimate, are too often always scattered.