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Brazil: Report Swept Aside: an Investigation into Human Rights Abuse at Kinross Gold’s Morro do Ouro Mine

"Swept Aside: An Investigation into Human Rights Abuse at Kinross Gold's Morro do Ouro Mine", 11 de dezembro de 2017

On the outskirts of Paracatu, a small city in the eastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, lies the country's largest gold mine, known by locals as Morro do Ouro...This report, a joint effort of Above Ground and Justiça Global, documents how the expansion of the Morro do Ouro mine negatively impacted the lives, land and livelihood of local people It is based on a multi-year study in which our researchers interviewed local residents and public offcials, spoke with representatives from Kinross and combed through government reports, news articles and court documents...[It]...reveals serious human rights violations linked to the expansion of the mine over the past decade, a period during which Kinross received substantial and repeated nancial support from the Canadian government...[I]llustration of the governance gap that often surrounds the overseas operations of Canadian multinational companies...[A]...pattern widely seen throughout the world...Those most directly harmed by Kinross's expansion project were the quilombola, people of African descent living in three nearby rural settlements founded by freed slaves in the 19th century. Quilombola communities hold legal ownership rights over their traditional lands. The three communities — Machadinho, Amaros and São Domingos — had been formally recognized by the federal government as quilombola...Serious conflict and safety concerns have arisen...Security guards at the mine have reportedly used armed force on people covertly entering the mine site, killing two young men in 1998. People have also died inside the mine's waste e effluent pipes...Four men were found dead in the pipes in 2016. Another was found dead at a tailings dam in February 2017...In a series of lawsuits, two public ministries have exposed critical deficiencies in the environmental oversight of the mine. Environmental authorities...have allowed Kinross to monitor its own air and water emissions. Residents of Paracatu have long expressed concern about potential health risks posed by the high arsenic content of the ore processed at Morro do Ouro. Several studies of local arsenic exposure and health risks have been carried out, with researchers coming to a range of disparate conclusions...This report concludes with a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring that both Canada and Brazil meet their international obligation to protect human rights in the context of large-scale extractive projects undertaken within their territory or by companies under their jurisdiction. We recommend that the Canadian government adopt a legal framework to identify, prevent and mitigate human rights risks in Canadian business activity abroad...[and]...Brazilian authorities include the immediate suspension of Kinross's mining activity at Morro do Ouro until applicable legal norms and constitutional rights are respected...

Part of the following stories

Brazil: NGOs allege that Morro do Ouro gold mine violated land, environmental & cultural rights, including right to FPIC; it includes comments and rejoinder from the NGOs, Kinross & Export Dev. Canada

Brasil: ONGs alegam que a mina Morro do Ouro violou direito à terra, ambientais e culturais de quilombolas, inclusive direito à informação; inclui respostas e réplicas das ONGs e da Kinross & Export Development Canada