The CANSEC arms show and human rights violations from Wet’suwet’en territory to Colombia
The sale of Canadian-made weapons, military vehicles and components can be linked to human rights violations from Wet’suwet’en territory to Colombia.
“Military goods” are used in wars, but also by security forces in the repression of human rights defenders, civil society protests and Indigenous rights.
The CANSEC arms show in Ottawa is organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), the “industry voice” for more than 650 companies that generate $12.6 billion in annual revenues, roughly half of which come from exports.
CANSEC promotes itself as “a one-stop shop for first responders, police, border and security entities and special operations units.”
This year’s CANSEC arms show is expected to attract 280+ exhibitors, 50+ international delegations, and “600+ VIPS, generals, top military & government officials”. CADSI says: “74% of attendees have purchasing power”.
We look at some of the reasons why organizations, defenders and communities are concerned about CANSEC:
THE UNITED STATES
Canada exports at least $1 billion a year in “military goods” to the United States. Is some of that then exported again as U.S. “security assistance” to Colombia, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala? What are the human rights implications of this?
As Toronto-based INKAS Armored Vehicles returns to the #CANSEC2023 arms show in Ottawa this coming May 31, questions remain about the use of an INKAS Huron by Colombian police two years ago during the national strike.
Despite Amnesty International documenting human rights violations by the Mexican military, a video promoting the upcoming #CANSEC2023 arms show in Ottawa includes this image.
As Amnesty International denounces the lethal use of force by Peruvian security forces, a CADSI video for the #CANSEC2023 arms show in Ottawa includes the Peruvian military. Defence Minister Anita Anand will open CANSEC on Wednesday May 31.
As Ecuadorean president Lasso rules by decree, soldiers surround the National Assembly, and communities in the Amazon report an increased military presence at oil wells, a #CANSEC2023 video highlights the Ecuadorean military at this arms show.
Airbus, Teledyne FLIR, Colt and General Dynamics will be at the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa. These companies have equipped the RCMP “Community-Industry Response Group” (C-IRG) with helicopters, drones, rifles and bullets.
As Elbit, Thales and Israel participate inside the #CANSEC2023 arms show in Ottawa this coming Wednesday May 31, we will remember (at a protest that starts at 7 am that day) the IDF killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
Despite security forces killing with impunity in Papua and West Papua, Canada has exported $30 million in “military goods” to Indonesia over the past five years. At least three companies that sell weapons to Indonesia will be at #CANSEC2023.
A delegation from the Philippines was welcomed at the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa (where they posed with a helicopter) just months after Philippine president Duterte threatened to throw people out of a helicopter claiming he had done it before.
For more on the popular mobilization against #CANSEC2023, please click here.