When I began researching the controversial Marlin Mine near my childhood home in the highlands of western Guatemala during grad school, I discovered it was just one of many mines throughout Latin America causing fierce debate about economic, social, and environmental impacts on local communities.
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the CBC (in Canada) have partnered on a project focusing on these mining conflicts, particularly in Panama and involving Canadian mining companies. The project is called The New Conquistadors, and features excellent videos and stories.
There’s also an interactive Google Map showing the locations of all the mining conflicts in Latin America over the past couple of decades. I’d urge you to spend some time clicking through the map and reading the brief summaries of each.
If you’d like to learn more about the important issue of mining and why indigenous people throughout Latin America react so strongly against it taking place on their land, here are some of my earlier posts:
April 23, 2012 – MCC’s work in Guatemala
October 19, 2011 – New report on economic & environmental impacts of mining
July 26, 2011 – Torture settlement in Peru and the need for mining reform
July 18, 2011 – What would Jesus do… about mining?
May 20, 2011 – A year after order to close, Marlin Mine going strong
March 17, 2011 – U.S. Congress discussing the Marlin Mine in Guatemala?
February 26, 2011 – An update on gold and my old hometown
[Image credit: CBC News]