Upside down world

June 1, 2007

I have just come across Upside down world,

an online magazine uncovering activism and politics in Latin America. Founded in 2003,  it is made up of work from writers, activists, artists and regular citizens from around the globe who are interested in flipping the world upside down…or right side up. Upside Down World provides concerned global citizens with independent reporting on Latin American social movements and governments that have refused to prostrate themselves to the interests of corporate globalization, and instead have focused their work on addressing the needs of the people.

There are some very interesting articles posted, from all corners of Latin America and on a variety of topics-

From Bolivia’s gas conflicts to worker-run factories in Argentina, from Guatemalan resistance to mining to the new political process in Venezuela .

They have just published an article on the Goldcorp mine in Honduras, something I have posted about before(here and here).  Here are some excerpts from the article:

The results of the latest water quality and health study, which was released on February 7th of this year (2007), show that water sources -including a domestic use well built by the company- have higher levels of copper and iron than even the generous amounts allowed by the World Bank guidelines for open pit mining areas… of the ten local people to have had their blood sampled, every single one has quantities of lead and arsenic in their blood at a level considered “very dangerous” by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Leslie Yaritza Perez hasn’t given up on waiting for the day when her baby, 18 month old Carla, will start walking. Carla still can’t support her body weight, and has little control over her legs… Carla’s father works at the mine, and their family home in Palo Ralo is a stone’s throw away from where the company built a well for the displaced community, which was later found to be contaminated with arsenic.

Honduran mining law stipulates that mining concessions can be cancelled if the mining activity “affects or damages water, air, flora, fauna, the community and the general ecosystem.” The government, led by President Manuel Zelaya, has shown little will to back the concerns of the communities and suspend Goldcorp’s concession in Honduras… For now, the battle lines have been drawn. Communities dealing with illness and water contamination, which is affecting their children more than anyone else, are on one side. Goldcorp, a major gold company waging an expensive public relations campaign is on the other.

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