Mexico: Building Links

Since last year, the Social Justice Committee of Montreal (now changed to the Social Justice Connection/Connexion justice sociale), MiningWatch Canada and FUNDAR are involved in a project to establish the impact of Canadian mining operations in Mexico, and to provide support to Mexican communities affected by these companies.

IDRC is funding the initiative, and the research will be done by FUNDAR.

The Mexican NGO FUNDAR Centre for Analysis and Research was founded in January 1999 by a group of high-profile leaders from diverse sectors dedicated to strengthening Mexico's transition to democracy. FUNDAR is an independent, non-partisan, interdisciplinary and pluralistic institution which emphasizes study, training, dissemination of information, experimentation and direct action. Through the program "Democracy in Theory and Practice," FUNDAR carries out research and training to enhance the transition to democracy and increase citizen participation.

Last year, the project identified and researched Canadian companies operating in Mexico, and documented their corporate behaviour and the financial support they receive from the Canadian government. On the Mexican side, after a newspaper research proved to be futile, since the topic doesn't even figure in the Mexican press, it was decided to conduct initial field research in at least two regions affected by Canadian mining activities, in order to gather local testimonies. Field investigations were carried in San Luis Potosí (Cerro de San Pedro) and Chihuahua.

This year, the relationships with Mexican partners will be maintained, nurtured and deepened. The project will link communities and NGOs up with similar groups, getting them to know and share similar experiences, and create the space for concerted action among them. A seminar on the impact of mining activities in Mexican communities will take place as well as two additional case studies.