The night before the tribunal, women prepare the space for testimonies.
The Peoples’ International Health Tribunal began today with an opening prayer in the highlands of Guatemala where Goldcorp operates their Marlin Mine. The tribunal will feature community testimonies from Goldcorp-affected communities in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala as well as testimonies from experts in community health, psychology, international law, and environmental health.
“I want to tell you what has happened in my community: what leaders have done, COCODES (a community association), company workers and their friends,” implored Matias Lopez, a community member from San Miguel who is vocal against the mine. “They have beaten me with kicks and they have gone near my house to insult and threaten me: with rocks, wood sticks, and guns. They shoot at my roof and even at one of my family members,” he went on to explain.
This is just one of the brave community members speaking out against the the impacts that Goldcorp has had on his community at the Peoples’ Tribunal, a community initiative which has brought an International spotlight on the reality surrounding Goldcorp’s mines in Latin America.
“Along with threatening basic prerequisites to health, such as access to clean water, housing, and livelihood, residents in San Miguel have suffered severe psychological pain and divisionism due to the mine,” said Susana Caxaj, a registered nurse and doctoral candidate who recently released preliminary findings of a 3 month health study in the region. “Community members have a good sense of the negative impact that this company has had on their health, yet they are consistently being ignored by the company, their governments, and the Canadian government, which has an obligation to regulate this company. There needs to be some respite and justice for these communities. They have a right to health and they have a right to respect and dignity.”
Distinguished persons recognized as spiritual leaders, journalists, academics, and policy makers will preside over the tribunal as judges and deliver a ruling at the end of the tribunal summarizing their observations and recommendations.
Find a schedule of the speakers here (in CST): http://healthtribunal.org/more-details-2/more-details/
Audio and video from the Health Tribunal will be livestreamed. details at: http://healthtribunal.org/resources/the-tribunal-live/
Follow mininginjustice and #tribunal2012 for live tweets of the Tribunal!