Corporate Trade Tribunals Used By Mining Companies Against Communities And Governments

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Above Photo: Looking at Goldcorp’s Los Filos mine in Guerrero, Mexico. Photo: Cristian Leyva/Miningwatch Canada

In more than two-thirds of the mining-related lawsuits against governments in the region, communities have been actively organizing against the mining activities.

  • mwildfire

    Right on! These cases are outrages. Here’s the one that got me the most: Ecuador had a contract with a US oil company, which included a provision that disallowed subcontractors, and stated that Ecuador could terminate the contract if the company hired a subcontractor. The company did anyway–and Ecuador announced that it was therefor terminating the contract. The company sued under ISDS, and the ruling noted that the company had violated an item in the contract, and the provision saying the country could terminate the contract if it did–but ruled in the company’s favor anyway, assessing billions against Ecuador at a time when it was reeling from an earthquake. The cherry on top was their decision to make Ecuador pay the company’s legal costs as the the problem was “mostly Ecuador’s fault”!
    These “judges” are corporate lawyers who are allowed to work for a company one day and sit in judgement on it the next–no conflict-of-interest provisions. They are not elected, work in secret, are accountable to no one, and get $400 an hour for their “work” on this–there are law firms springing up to specialize in this lucrative extortion racket. I can’t imagine any third-world nation allowing such a legal system–surely even Burma or Mali would be embarrassed.