PBI endorsed Escazu Agreement ratified in Mexico; Canada should support its implementation

Published by Brent Patterson on

Peace Brigades International first endorsed the Escazu Agreement in 2018.

Mexico News Daily reports: “The Senate has ratified the first regional treaty in the world that explicitly links human rights protections with environmental ones with provisions that protect the rights of environmental defenders and promote greater access to justice.”

The Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights applauded the ratification of the agreement.

Mexico Daily News notes: “Since 2016, 879 socio-environmental conflicts have been identified in Mexico largely surrounding hydrocarbon extraction, hydroelectric, and mining projects. In 2019 alone, 15 environmental defenders were murdered in the country.”

“[Andrea Cerami, human rights coordinator at the Mexican Center for Environmental Law says] the treaty offers new legal tools that civil society can use to push back against alleged environmental threats of megaprojects being implemented by the administration of President López Obrador.”

The article highlights: “Though the Senate’s ratification of the Escazú Agreement represents a new commitment to providing more appropriate consultations, Cerami warns that if the government does not exert political will and allocate the necessary resources for the treaty’s enforcement, the Escazú will be ineffective.”

The article also cites two megaprojects that PBI-Mexico accompanied organizations oppose, namely the Mayan Train (Tren Maya) and the Proyecto Integral Morelos (PIM) thermoelectric plant and gas pipeline.

On October 24, 2019, PBI-Mexico signed this joint statement that urged the European Union and its member states to call on the Mexican authorities to take all necessary steps to ratify the Escazú Agreement through the competent national bodies.

Last month, PBI-Canada echoed that call by urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in this urgent action to publicly express support for the agreement prior to the upcoming meeting of Escazu signatory countries that will take place on December 9-10.

Canada represents about 75 per cent of the total foreign investment related to the mining sector in Mexico.

Currently, Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. is seeking a 10-year extension for its controversial San José Mine situated near the Zapotec village of San José del Progreso in the state of Oaxaca in south-western Mexico.

There have been four deaths and eight people shot in direct relation to this mine between 2010 and 2012. Community opposition to it remains strong.

Given this reality, PBI-Canada wishes to highlight the call made by the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) for the political will and necessary resources for the full implementation and enforcement of the Escazu Agreement in Mexico.

For more in Spanish, please see the PBI-Mexico article: El Acuerdo de Escazú, una herramienta necesaria para la lucha contra el cambio climático.

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