(Toronto) This morning, communal landowners of the Ejido La Sierrita in Durango, Mexico attended Excellon Resources’ Annual General Meeting to testify to company mismanagement. The Ejido holds shares in the Company and is the legal property owner of much of the land on which Excellon’s only producing mine, La Platosa, is located.
“Since 2008, we have tried to work with the Company to implement our land use agreement on the basis of equality and respect, but the Company has repeatedly refused to dialogue with us,” stated David Espinoza, President of the Ejido La Sierrita. “Left with little other recourse, this past July we peacefully protested the company’s decisions together with our families and mine workers, only to have the company bulldoze our camps and burn our belongings. Investors should know that the company’s abuses have put this whole project in jeopardy.”
Twelve days ago, a Mexican tribunal determined that Excellon must return 1,100 hectares that it had been renting from the Ejido. The legal process underway could put in question much of the critical land on which the company is operating.
In advance of the shareholder meeting, the Ejido presented three shareholder resolutions asking for a change in governance. Excellon, however, refused to present the proposals to its shareholders. The proposals called for full disclosure of payments related to its Mexican operations, separation of board and management, and the election of a director specialized in human rights.
Valeria Scorza, Deputy Director of the Project for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of (ProDESC), an organization advising the Ejido also attended the shareholder meeting. “This is a good opportunity for Excellon to remedy human rights violations that occurred and prevent future incidents like those we’ve seen. We hope shareholders will ask the Company to ensure governance changes and expect management to react responsibly following the events of 2012.”
Outside the meeting, protestors gathered on King Street and handed out fliers. The rally was sponsored by groups and unions who have witnessed human rights violations at La Platosa firsthand. Attendees included members of KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, MiningWatch Canada, United Steelworkers, Justice and Corporate Accountability Project, Common Frontiers, Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network, the Law Union of Ontario, and the Communication, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
The Ejido’s proposals to Excellon shareholders, pictures of the violent destruction of the protest camp, and a fact sheet regarding the conflict are available on ProDESC’s website.
- Sara Eny Curiel, ProDESC (Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales), saraeny.curiel (at) gmail.com, Tel. 55-5212-2230, 55-5212-2229, 55-3334-6045.