For the poor of Central America, perks of residing in the backyard of northern neighbors have over the past century included eligibility to serve as collateral damage in U.S. wars on drugs and communism and as guinea pigs in U.S. government syphilis experiments.
Steven Schnoor’s documentary “All That Glitters Isn’t Gold: A Story of Exploitation and Resistance”, viewable below in 6 parts, addresses other perks, such as eligibility to host open-pit cyanide leach mining projects by Canadian corporations and suffer corresponding arsenic contamination and agricultural destruction.
The documentary focuses on the Siria Valley in Honduras, site of Goldcorp’s San Martin mine—opened in 2000 following the passage of a pro-mining law hurriedly passed by the Honduran Congress in the wake of Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the country in 1998.
Former Honduran President Mel Zelaya, prior to being ousted in the June 2009 coup, had supported legislation to ban open-pit mining. The post-coup ascension to power of an illegitimate regime obsequious to elite and corporate interests thus underscores the continuing relevance of the documentary, which was made several years ago.
Highlights of the video include the argument by a mining official that health problems suffered by residents of the area are merely a result of “hygiene issues”.
For more information on the excesses of Goldcorp and other mining corporations in Latin America, visit http://www.rightsaction.org.