Canadian company Pacific Exploration & Production was recently granted a concession to oil block 192 in the Peruvian Amazon. Residents in the region of Loreto have since staged a series of protests including a two-day regional strike. While many in Loreto, including the regional government, are angry that the state oil company was excluded from the concession, indigenous people affected by the oil block raise other concerns.
Canadian company Belo Sun wants to mine for gold in the Brazilian Amazon, next to the massive Belo Monte dam, which is currently under construction. The mine would affect several indigenous nations, including those who live in voluntary isolation. While the Brazilian Public Prosecutor challenges the mine licensing process in court, affected indigenous people demand that they be consulted by the company.
“Victims face an uphill battle when they seek justice in Canadian courts,” says Karyn Keenan, Director of Above Ground. “The current policy framework in Canada must change to prevent human rights abuse and provide remedy to those who suffer harm."
This report, published in 2014 by the Halifax Initiative, Counter Current, Forum Suape, Both Ends and Movimiento Ríos Vivos, presents case studies of projects with significant human rights impacts that have been carried out by private sector actors financed by export credit agencies. One of the case studies focuses on Export Development Canada's financing of Brazilian mining company Vale. The report identifies policy and law reform recommendations that seek to ensure that export credit agencies no longer commit nor are complicit in human rights violations.
While several EDC clients are investigated for corruption by U.S. authorities, the Halifax Initiative seeks clarity from EDC on its anti-corruption policies and practices.