In Mexico, local resistance to Canadian mining companies is growing as the industry booms.
[Since Vancouver-based silver and gold mining company Fortuna set up shop in a small town in southern Mexico in 2005, violent attacks have left four local residents dead and many more wounded. Fortuna has not been charged, nor is it the subject of any criminal investigation. However, similar violence has broken out at other locations where Canadian-owned mining companies — an astonishing 75 per cent of all such companies world-wide — operate.]
Paulina Agripina Vásquez Sánchez stared out across her family’s modest patch of arid land in the mid-May dustbowl of the Ocotlán Valley, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The less-than-ideal farming conditions in San José del Progreso are low on Paulina’s radar though, as she points to one of the five remaining avocado trees on an otherwise barren property. Two months earlier, an attack she blames on thugs in the pay of the town’s municipal president uprooted 56 other trees in what was once an orchard.