Friday, March 12, 2010

Canadian Mining Company Investigated for Bribes to "Quell Local Dissent" in Chiapas

Blackfire Exploration, the mining company whose employees have been linked to the murder of anti-mining organizer Mariano Roblero, may have paid bribes to the mayor of Chicomuselo, Chiapas.  Roblero lived, organized, and was murdered in Chicomuselo.

If the evidence submitted by a coalition of organizations--including MiningWatch, the Council of Canadians, and the Sierra Club--is genuine, it demonstrates that Blackfire acknowledges that it paid a series of bribes to the Chicomuselo mayor.

The Calgary Herald reports that a coalition of anti-mining groups have submitted a Blackfire spreadsheet that "appears to show 14 payments made by Blackfire to the mayor, Julio Cesar Velazquez Calderon, and a letter to the congress of the state of Chiapas in which the company asks the mayor to be removed from office."

The Calgary Herald continues:
In a letter to the Chiapas congress in June 2009, Blackfire said the company was the victim of extortion by the mayor and made payments of about 10,000 pesos (about $1,000 Cdn) per month. The mayor then sought flights for himself, family and friends, which the company agreed to, according to the letter. But the company decided to stop the "ridiculous propositions" after the mayor asked for Blackfire to set up a sexual affair with a Playboy model.
Read the entire article in the Calgary Herald. 
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