Sign the petition to demand justice for Mariano Abarca to the federal court of Canada!



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James Gordon Carr 

Minister of International Trade Diversification

Government of Canada


Crystia Freeland

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Government of Canada


Cheryl Hardcastle

Member of Parliament

NDP Party


David Sweet

Member of Parliament of Canada

Conservative Party


Anita Vandenbeld

Member of Parliament of Canada

Liberal Party


To the Canadian Embassies in Latin America


For the first time, representatives of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico are the subject of a judicial review before the Federal Court of Canada for their conduct in a mining conflict, related to the criminalization and murder of Mariano Abarca in Chiapas in 2009. The hearing will take place on March 25, 2019 in Ottawa

On November 27, 2009, the local leader of the Mexican Network of Peoples Affected by Mining (REMA), Mariano Abarca Roblero, was murdered in the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, after an active and peaceful resistance that villagers carried out against this company that extracted the mineral barite from its mine in the community All the suspects in the case had links to the mining company Blackfire Exploration, but no one was convicted of the murder. The investigation is still open.

Until the day he was murdered Mariano suffered threats, intimidation, beatings, arbitrary detention under false accusations made by the mining company, among other abuses. Copies of checks deposited for more than a year to the personal bank account of the municipal president by the company Blackfire were presented to Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which resulted in no consequences. In Mexico, a request for clarification was filed with the State of Chiapas’ Comptroller’s office, but their response has been silence.

The Canadian embassy in Mexico heard Mariano expressing the threats he had received from a group of company thugs and alerted the embassy to the other damages that the mining company’s operations were causing.

Documentation obtained through the Access to Information and Privacy Act from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, shows that, despite the fact that the Canadian embassy had significant knowledge about the conflicts between the company Blackfire and the community -including the death threats faced by Mr. Abarca-, the embassy approached the state government of Chiapas to ask them to control the protests against the Canadian company in the community.

Mariano was imprisoned for eight days on false accusations made by the owners of the mining company, and was released following national and international pressure with no charges. Mariano decided to file a lawsuit against the mining company and a few weeks later was killed in front of his home in Chicomuselo, Chiapas. The suspected employees of the mine were, eventually freed; the owners of the company, in total impunity.

The Canadian government claims that the embassy was not obligated to act consistently with public policies about embassy responsibilities towards environmental defenders, and that the embassy’s acts and omissions increased the dangers faced by Mr. Abarca.

We know that this case is not unique. We know that the Canadian embassies in various countries of the region have promoted mining companies even when the life and well-being of the communities were under threat. We know that they have intervened in the elaboration of policies related to companies in countries such as Honduras and Colombia. And we know that they have helped to legitimize mining projects facing resistance because of the serious impacts on health, water, land and territories that we defend.

All of this demonstrates that there needs be political will to enforce binding protocols for Canadian embassy personnel in order to ensure human rights. That is why we demand a full and impartial investigation into the case of Mariano Abarca Roblero. We also demand that legal measures be implemented to prevent embassies from continuing to intervene to promote the abuse and violation of human rights that Canadian mining companies commit in other countries. 

spanish version / versión en español


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More information about the Mariano Abarca case: 

Check our blog Justice for Mariano Abarca

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