CIRDI, the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute, was originally mandated by Stephen Harper and has received over $40M of Official Development Aid money. It partners with mining companies and universities to provide policy and regulatory advice to countries where Canadian mining companies have major interests.
Hosted at the University of British Columbia (UBC), this institute is positioned as a significant player in the powerful structures imposing an extractivist paradigm on sovereign nations. CIRDI has close ties to Canadian companies operating in Guatemala that have been accused of environmental and human rights abuses, such as Goldcorp. Mentioned several times in this video, Goldcorp is one of CIRDI’s strategic partners, and, by offering the company’s mines in Guatemala and elsewhere as test sites for CIRDI's initiatives, its executives hope to "export" their Canadian extractive governance experience on developing countries.
Some of CIRDI’s other partners have close links to Tahoe Resources, HudBay, and mineral exploration firms also operating in Guatemala. Elsewhere in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, CIRDI proponents and Canadian diplomats are actively meeting with high-level officials to make strategic interventions that shift government policies to align with the profit oriented interests of Canadian extractive corporations.
On 2014 and 2015 visits, the testimonies of members of Guatemalan communities affected by mining extraction were recorded, to understand more deeply how they have been affected by Canadian exploration and mining companies’ operations there.
Those in this video have expressed, once again, that they wish to be left to pursue their own visions of development, without the pressures of Canadian mining companies along with banks, diplomats, and academics advocating for policies that give preference to extractive industries.
Please join the communities affected by Canadian mining companies, and students at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and UBC, in their urgent call for the Canadian government to repeal CIRDI’s mandate and funding.
The website stoptheinstitute.ca hosts information, concerns, critique, recommendations, and records acquired under freedom of information legislation about CIRDI and how it fits into a context of international plunder by Canadian mining companies and the government’s policy of economic diplomacy on their behalf.
For more information on the Guatemalan communities and their struggles, see:
The Permanent People’s Tribunal’s ruling on Canadian mining in Latin America
San Jose del Golfo, San Pedro Ayampuc, and communities affected by the illegally-operating “El Tambor” mine (KCA, previously Radius Gold)
Guatemala Human Rights Commission: http://www.ghrc-usa.org/our-work/current-cases/lapuya/
Victory for La Puya: Guatemalan Court Orders Suspension of Construction Operations at the El Tambor Mine
San Rafael las Flores, Mataquesquintla, and other municipalities and communities affected by the “Escobal” mine (Tahoe Resources)
Tahoe on Trial
Tahoe Resources backgrounder
Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala
San Miguel Ixtahuacan, Sipacapa, and communities affected by the Marlin Mine (Goldcorp)
FREDEMI open letter (in Spanish)
El Estor, Lote Ocho, and other communities affected by the Fenix Mine (Solway, previously HudBay)
Choc versus Hudbay website
Angelica Choc vs. HudBay Minerals Inc. claim in Ontario’s Supreme Court
German Chub vs. HudBay Minerals Inc. claim in Ontario’s Supreme Court
Margarita Caal Caal vs. HudBay Minerals Inc. claim in Ontario’s Supreme Court