After January, 2017 Café with excellent presentation by Claudia Barrueta Martinez and Tim Boultbee, we encourage CASC supporters to take this follow-up action:
Below is a letter addressed to our Prime Minister and other officials regarding the ongoing human rights abuses in Mexico. I wrote the letter to Trudeau because I believe that while learning about an issue is valuable, it is usually not followed up by any action. The letter to Trudeau gives you the opportunity to do something. Change it if you wish so that what you send becomes something from you in your own words – but please, do something!
The contents of the letter come from a report I wrote in September, 2015 called Mexico – Human Rights in a Narco State. At the end of the report, I provide a list of sources so that anyone who reads the report can go into more detail by going over the evidence first hand.
If you think that sending a letter to Trudeau will not make a difference, I would like to tell you the following story. During the Vietnam war, the Nixon administration’s message to protesters was that the peace movement was not affecting government policy. Years later, however, when papers from the Nixon administration were declassified, they showed that the administration was very concerned about the what people were saying and doing to stop the war. With this in mind, we have to realize that our efforts to create a world where social justice and environmental values are the bedrock of our existence will never be recognized by those in power.
If you read Mexico – Human Rights in a Narco State, please follow up your growing awareness by taking action such as writing a letter to our prime minister and other officials. We may never receive acknowledgement for what we do, but as the protests from the Vietnam era show, officials seem to pay attention to our efforts to create a better world.
Thank-you for doing something!
Tim Boultbee, Victoria, B.C.
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
I am writing this letter to you because I am concerned with the ongoing and deteriorating human rights situation in Mexico.
One matter I find greatly disturbing is the situation between the Toronto based mining company Excellon and its la Platosa mine in Mexico’s state of Durango. In February, 2015, MiningWatch Canada and the United Steelworkers released a report called Unearthing Canada’s Complicity: Excellon Resources, and the Canadian Embassy, and the Violation of Land and Labour Rights in Durango, Mexico. In part, the authors write that
“documents obtained from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) under an access to information request directly implicate the Canadian Embassy in Mexico in Toronto-based Excellon Resources’ efforts to avoid addressing the violation of its agreement with the agricultural community (Ejido) on whose land it operates the la Platosa mine in the state of Durango. This included Embassy tolerance of, and even support for, violent state repression against a peaceful protest at the Ejido La Sierrita during the summer of 2012.”
This dispute has not been resolved as evident in an article in the Mexico News Daily written in January of this year.
Sir, I find it appalling that the Government of Canada, through its embassy in Mexico city, is in any way linked to repressing the rights of Mexican citizens to peacefully address issues pertaining to the operation of the la Platosa mine. I would like to hear your views on this issue and what the Government of Canada is doing in light of the above revelation.
I would also like to bring to your attention a report written in 2015 by the Permanent People’s Tribunal which states that Mexico’s government has acknowledged that over 26,000 Mexicans disappeared between 2006 and 2012. This figure does not include the 43 students from the Raul Isidrio Teacher’s College of Ayotzinapa that disappeared on September 26, 2014. After an “investigation,” Mexican officials stated that the police detained the students, and then handed them over to a criminal gang who killed the students and burned their bodies. I hope that you, like me, find it incredible that a police force would work with a criminal organization to disappear anyone. Almost a year later, the Inter-American commission on Human Rights rejected the Mexican government’s account of the Ayotzinapa case.
Given incidences like Ayotzinapa, and the conflict at the la Platosa mine, I urge you, Mr. Trudeau, to do all you can to help reverse this crisis by speaking up about human rights, by directing your government and Canadian embassies worldwide to uphold international laws regarding human rights and protection of the environment. I further urge the Government of Canada to enact laws that govern the means by which Canadian companies like Excellon conduct their operations outside the country and punish those companies that violate such laws.
cc. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland; Mexican Ambassador Augustin Garcia-Lopez Loaeza; Excellon Resources Chairman Andre Fortire; Murray Rankin, Victoria M.P.
Prime Minister Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington St.,
Foreign Affairs Minister, Canada
125 Sussex Dr.,
Mexican Ambassador to Canada
Augustin Garcia-Lopez Loaeza
45 O’Connor St., #1030
Andre Fortire Chairman
20 Victoria St., Suite 900
Don’t forget to send a copy of any letters you write to your local MP