World Social Forum 2009: Building a global campaign on mining

29 January 2009 - 5:13pm

One of the main speakers was Danilo D'Addio Chammas, a Brazilian Lawyer from the year-old campaign Campanha Justica nos Trilhos (Justice on the Rails). Danilo spoke about Vale, the mining company which is the third largest multinational company in Brazil. He explained how the train line that transports workers and the mined ore from the mines cuts through the land of the eucalyptus producers of the Carajas Region. The construction of the train line itself has led to 200 deaths, and the company rarely compensates the family.

The communities affected are calling for redress for the human rights and environmental abuses resulting from the train line. The campaign is working to empower theses communities as it builds an international campaign. And the WSF is definitely the place to build those alliances; Danilo has come to the right place. Vale has subsidiaries in lots of countries, including the UK. The discussion on this topic was lively, and everyone agreed about the need for real accountability and for community sovereignty over resources and land. The ways in which corporate social responsibility obscure facts was another issue that was discussed.

Update: After the seminar War on Want was interviewed by Panos Africa on the issue mining in Africa. Noting the small number of African participants, the journalists emphasised the importance of updating the outlet's readers on the latest from Belém.


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