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3 Mar 2013

CMC and Antigua Observer

Claims of Canadian companies exploiting mines in Guyana

The…Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)…claimed that...in the Canadian legal system, “…it is nearly impossible for foreign citizens to bring lawsuits involving egregious environmental and human rights violations in Canadian courts"…[citing] a 1997 lawsuit filed by Guyanese villagers against Cambior Corporation regarding [its] alleged negligence surrounding a dam break disaster along the Omai River…[and that] “this catastrophe resulted in mass contamination and fatalities.”…COHA said child labour is also a “widespread problem” within the Guyanese mining industry. Most recently, it said an eight-year-old child was found labouring in a gold mine…near the Venezuelan border…[and that]…indigenous groups lost a “crucial court case” filed against mining companies, when Guyanese High Court decided that it does not have the right to expel miners from their lands…