Canadian organizations demand mining company cease threats against Costa Rica

April 17th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Seven Canadian organizations yesterday sent a strongly worded letter to CEO John Morgan of Canadian mining company Infinito Gold, demanding that the company “end its decade-long harassment of the people and the government of Costa Rica,” and that it withdraw its April 4 threat to sue the small Central American country for US$1 billion if it is not allowed to build its Crucitas open-pit gold mine.

 

“Infinito Gold has tried to portray itself as the victim of a capricious court system. In reality, the Calgary-based company has tried to strong-arm Costa Rica’s judiciary into overturning two Supreme Court rulings (2010 and 2011) that upheld the country’s ban on open-pit mining. The courts told the Canadian company it could not develop the Crucitas mine, and told Infinito to pack up and go,” begins a press release sent yesterday to Inside Costa Rica by MiningWatch Canada, apparently on behalf of the organizations involved.

 

“Instead of leaving, the company ratcheted-up a campaign of intimidation, attempting to censor a University of Costa Rica course focussed on the mining project and launching defamation suits against two professors and three other Costa Ricans who have spoken out publicly about the potential impact that this mining activity could have on a fragile environment,” the statement continues.

 

“In 2012 the Canadian government was asked by Costa Rica to provide information about an alleged US$200,000 donation to then-President Oscar Arias’ Arias Foundation in 2008, coming from Canada, and made just days before Arias decreed that the Crucitas mine was to be considered ‘in the national interest.’ Canada’s Department of Justice responded to this request in early February of this year, but has refused to comment on the information provided. The Costa Rican government suddenly announced last week that the long-time head of the Arias Foundation had been named as its Ambassador to Argentina.”

 

“The company’s behaviour, and the public support it has enjoyed from the Canadian Embassy, has seriously damaged Canada’s reputation in Costa Rica, a country that is a favourite destination for Canadian eco-tourists,” said MiningWatch Canada spokesman Jamie Kneen, adding, “Today’s letter calls on Infinito Gold to drop all legal actions against Costa Rica and its citizens and to leave the country. It also calls on the Canadian government to immediately divulge what it knows about the questionable payment made to the Arias Foundation in 2008.”

 

The letter was signed by:

• MiningWatch Canada
• Common Frontiers
• Sierra Club Canada
• Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine (CDHAL)
• Council of Canadians
• The Blue Water Project
• Polaris Institute
• Public Service Alliance of Canada

 

Click here to download the full text of the letter (PDF)

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  • stfree

    Article should have been titled: “Canadian Greenies oppose mines.” Yah duh.

  • georgechapogas

    you can be sure that investors around the world are watching carefully. despite the the unified university idiots that have never done a thing in their lives that was not theoretical, companies have more people on their side. shareholders that fund the worlds pensions to individuals that take money they earned and paid taxes on and invested. those that need the world’s economy to function outnumber the the “lets all live in a sustainable yurt” crowd by a lot. hopefully they will begin suing the hell out of Latin governments that want to continue to unilaterally change contracts after they have begun. the Napoleonic code in Latin America leaves no issue ever firmly decided. corporations, companies, investors beware. that is the bottom line to this issue, and more poverty is the net result. however, that cuts both ways. Napoleonic law makes decisions on what is supposedly “right” not necessarily what a technicality says. as the issue evolves and the loss of business share, and mega regulation effect Costa Rica’s people negatively, the extremes on the environmental wing that scream the loudest about the least, and produce nothing useful begin to look a lot less “right”

    • dumb dumb

      As a canadian living in costa rica I find your attitude offensive.The law in costa rica said no open pit mining. End of story full stop. The sheer arrogance of this company coming and trying to bribe and bully to get their own way makes me ashamed to be canadian.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689145655 Pablo Bolaños-Villegas

      Mr. Chapogas, you may not like it but pleople and corporation need to obey the law, or pack up and go. The laws of Costa Rica since the Pacheco administration state that mining and oil exploration are illegal. Prosecutors should target this Canadian company and investigate allegations of bribery.

      • georgechapogas

        i see nowhere above that i mentioned what i liked or did not like except that i would enjoy watching it be litigated, and litigated and re-litigated. courts and courts and courts will decide, likely multiple times and ways. legality, bribery, etc etc will be decided by people that are neither you or i. the value of your word is not worth 10 colones and a smile. Pablo, how about you originate a few posts and wax wisdom and silliness on all us rational fiscal conservative cretins you seem to think you are so superior to. maybe you can demand prosecutors find guilt before any trial at all as smart as you are…..lolololol

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689145655 Pablo Bolaños-Villegas

          Your reasoning is hard to understand. To abide by the law is not in conflict with being a conservative, or with keeping a balanced budget. The law of Costa Rica states that mining is prohibited. We as citizens of a free, independent country asked our government to keep those reserves of natural resources untouched. Someday we will exploit them. Moreover we believe that oil wealth creates corruption and dependence. So Mr. Chapogas, open your mind to the realities of Costa Rica and Latin America and you will start to understand who we are.

          • georgechapogas

            the decree was never settled law and you only represent a part, a small part, rather feo part of costa rica. i am tired of your stupid one side lectures of what is and is not “costa Rica”.. you are jut a single ass. i look forward to your type of tico, your demands, stupid ideals, and your hate of wealth pissing back in your face. now i say again, originate your own posts. you sir, are no one’s judge. i find you to be person who thinks way too much of himself. a person driven by ego. a bore. as i said the courts will decide. your version is worthless empty uncorroborated assertion at this point . you sound like some stupid student with a bullhorn. buzz off.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689145655 Pablo Bolaños-Villegas

            Once again, you are not able to put forward any rational arguments to defend your statements. As for the insults, I am not bothered the least. Out of the respect I have for my American friends I will not answer to any of them.

          • georgechapogas

            look you insulting jerk. you do not speak for ticos. my first post was quite rational. like the self absorbed person you are you respond and proceed to insult me in ways you cannot possible have the info to support. BUZZ OFF you are nothingburger.

          • dumb dumb

            Once again you spew bile and engage in obscene name calling instead of intelligent debate. Is your life so small and your intellect so deficient that you can’t have a debate with out resorting to gutter speak? Since you have not responded my posts I’m sure that the intellect behind your on line persona is not capable of conducting an intelligent debate of an important issue

          • georgechapogas

            read my original post. entirely rational. on topic. no the winged monkeys of the lefts want to cry about being responded to the way they respond to me. look, OMG, your post says nothing!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689145655 Pablo Bolaños-Villegas

          Mining and oil exploration in Costa Rica were banned in 2002 by presidential decree # 30477. Therefore ex-president Oscar Arias could not allow a company to prospect for gold without annulling this decree. He did not and allowed the company to start to work. Both Arias and the company broke the law.

          • dumb dumb

            My friend you are right George is speaking from ignorance and has no idea what he’s talking about. His level of language reveals the extent of his education and his use of obscene language is only an indication of his fear.

        • dumb dumb

          Your language simply indicates the ravings of a small mind. Could you possibly find meaning in your life by actually finding a way to interact in real life instead of simply spewing your bile in a virtual forum. Name call;ing and attitudes like yours do nothing to further an intellegent debate of the issue at hand.

          • georgechapogas

            lol. that is funny

  • Matt

    Costa Ricans have every right to prevent this mine from going ahead, however owing to the way it was handled by the duly elected govt of the day, they will now have to pay compensation. That does not take away from their right to prevent the mining……just pay and keep the almond trees. Simple