This report was developed by the Latin America Coordinating Committee of the Coalition against the Mining Pandemic. It unmasks the unbridled advance of mining during the pandemic, for which reason communities and peoples in Latin America could not let their guard down even while taking measures to protect themselves from COVID-19.
The report is based on case studies from nine Latin American countries – Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. It examines how governments and mining companies have taken advantage of the lengthy COVID-19 pandemic to position aggressive mining expansion as “essential” for economic revival and energy transition. At the same time, it documents the responses and resilience of affected peoples under even more adverse conditions than before the pandemic, underscoring that mutual care, community organization, land, water and healthy food are what is truly essential.
The research highlights that the mining sector, especially metal mining, has experienced an economic boom, while communities and peoples are still suffering the consequences of multiple interrelated crises: socio-economic, health, environmental and violence. High mineral prices, threats to interrupt of supply chains requiring raw materials, the energy transition, in addition to extractivist policies and outsider colonialist logic that seeks to capitalize on any possible circumstance to further foreign interests, have served as an impetus for greater speculation and expansion of the sector in this period. Together, these processes have deepened repression, violence and social control over populations from governments and companies.
Despite the numerous threats, the report concludes by looking at the significant resistance to the mining model that has persisted despite the context of violence and climate and ecological disaster. For communities and people on the front lines against mining, their experiences over these last two years have reinforced the importance of continuing to defend territory, clean water and air, and livelihoods and livelihoods. In short, it is not possible to “stay at home” when everything is at risk.
For more information or to organize an interview:
- Jen Moore, Associate Fellow, Institute for Political Studies – Global Economy Program, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kirsten Francescone, Latin America Program Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada, email@example.com
- Leny Olivera Rojas, Director, TerraJusta, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Guadalupe Rodríguez, Salva La Selva, email@example.com