PAPA NEW GUINEA: PORGERA IN FLAMES

Barrick-Recommended Military Force burns down hundreds of homes in PNG

 
Hundreds of homes in the Porgera valley of Papua New Guinea are being set aflame. Local human rights organizations in Porgera claim that these fires are part of a strategy to clear people out of the way for the expansion of Barrick Gold's Porgera mine.

On April 27th, without prior warning, the indigenous land owners of the villages surrounding Barrick Gold’s Porgera open pit mine were violently evicted by a police and military operation with 200 troops. “Operation Ipili” was launched during the middle of the day to allegedly make way for the expansion of a Barrick gold mine. This effective State of Emergency in Porgera was motivated by situation reports presented by Barrick (PNG) Limited, according to Laigap Porgera Member of Parliament Phillip Kikala. Read More | protestbarrick.net

Past Coverage:
Apr09: Smoking ceremony, blockade and protesters occupy open cut pit halting mine operations | Dec08: Thousands raid Barrick's North Mara mine, destroy $15 million in equipment | Nov07: En Santiago de Chile y en Tanzania: Protestas y huelga preceden a reunión de Barrick Gold | Oct07: Protests and a Strike Precede Barrick Gold’s 3rd quarter shareholders meeting | May07: La Rioja, Argentina vs. Barrick Gold Corp | Apr07: Anti-Gold Mining Conflicts Spreading Throughout the Americas | Feb07: Interview: Mining & Developing World: Barrick Gold's Porgera Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea | Jan06: Pascua Lama, Bulyanhulu, Lake Cowal and Cyanide - Barrick's Hunt for Gold

Households of third generation landowners were purposefully razed to the ground, causing residents to flee for fear of their lives. According to eyewitnesses, eighty houses in Ungima, two houses in Yokolama and four houses in Kulapi had been torched within the first 2 days of the operation. By April 30, community reports put that number at close to 600.

According to the Akali Tange Association, a human rights organization in Porgera, none of the residents were given time to gather any of their possessions. Anyone who spoke up was reportedly physically attacked by the security forces and some were arrested.

Increasing numbers of people are reporting injuries, as are those who are being detained. Although the landowners received no formal warning that they were to see their houses destroyed – according to the ATA – Barrick Gold had demanded that the land be cleared of local villagers, some of whom are small scale artisanal miners eking out a living beside the mine.

Barrick Gold’s personnel claim the land owners are ‘illegal’ and last week, issued a memorandum calling on them to stop their subsistence activities and leave their homelands. The chief landowner, Nixon Mangape, recently alerted their local Member of Parliament as well as media outlets about the impending threats from the mining company. To date, there has been no acknowledgement that villagers have been demanding compensation from Barrick if the confiscation of their land was to move forward, given their resulting loss of livelihood, possessions and ancestral territory. Now, these communities are suffering from brutal attacks by security agents and faced with the situation that their homes – with all their possessions – have been burned to the ground, in clear violation of national and international legal precedents.

Jethro Tulin, Executive Officer of ATA traveled to Canada this week – along with other international affected communities – to tell shareholders at Barrick Gold's annual general meeting about the on-going human rights crisis in Porgera. As Mr. Tulin traveled to Canada to attend Barrick's AGM, the Papua New Guinea government sent 200 heavily armed troops to the Porgera area. He has since been receiving regular updates about landowner's houses being searched for incriminating materials and burnt to the ground.

"Barrick Gold and the Government of Papua New Guinea must immediately start to address the catastrophic problem in Porgera pro-actively rather than over reacting with high level security installations and branding it as a law and order problem. Calling a State of Emergency is not the right method to fix these extensive and irreversible damages, the ordinary people are already victims of what as gone wrong."

Last year the Norwegian Pension Fund divested $230 million CAD from Barrick Gold for ethical concerns related to the Porgera Mine.

Source Article: Barrick-Recommended Military Force burns down hundreds of homes in PNG

add a comment on this article

what?

s 01.May.2009 20:05

who says right to bear arms wouldnt defend against the coorporate abuse....where are the investments of the owner who is conducting barrick mine??time to boy cott all affiliation and association..so says the gallery??

TIS THE QUESTION

WHY? 04.May.2009 23:54

WHO ARE THE FUNDS THAT REMAIN INVESTED IN THE DEMISE OF OTHERS???

who's still invested?

sakura 05.May.2009 02:32

The Canadian Pension Plan in Heavily invested.
So is the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan and a ton of other Canadian Pensions.
NY State Pension fund has $100 million invested.
Also, "Ethical Funds," based in Vancouver is invested!

Yeah Right...

jwhite 06.May.2009 14:36

Check out these comments from Barrick's website. First from a section entitled "Ethics":

"Barrick’s success is built on a commitment to highest standards of corporate governance and professional integrity. We conduct our business around the world in an ethical, honest and accountable manner and in accordance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations."

Meaning that if the local government is willing to do it (such as ordering the military to raze homes for example), that makes it okay. Wow. Great ethical policy Barrick.

Second, from the section entitled "indigenous cultures":

"...our community relations staff around the world work closely with our Indigenous partners to develop initiatives that help preserve their unique cultural traditions and promote cross-cultural understanding between our Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees."

We can easily see that with PNG. Barrick appears to be working very closely with those indigineous, the government, and their military. Way to be Barrick, way to be.

Barrick Investors

Cleve 09.May.2009 18:58

Here is a list of all the institutional investors in Barrick:  http://www.mffais.com/abx
It can be sorted by clicking on the header of the "shares" column.

Five of the seven largest investors in Barrick are from the Capital Group ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Capital_Group_Companies). With these five investments combined, the Capital Group is by far the largest owner of Barrick Gold. And they've got offices in many cities:  http://www.capgroup.com/about_us/office_locations.html




Petition against Barrick Gold's mine

windy 12.May.2009 04:19

Are there any online petitions against this?

Thanks

In Chile it's the same

Matías 26.May.2009 18:00

Here en Chile (South America) it's the same. Barrick destroy a very valuable Glacier to get the gold. You can read more about this here.

 http://www.noapascualama.org/

jasem

Nokia Middle East 27.May.2009 22:11

Nokia Middle East Nokia Middle East

Mobile Applications Mobile Applications

interest

stale mind 04.Jun.2009 08:12

i was interested if anyone knows an address for getting ahold of barrics people i would like to write them something thank you

when the smoke signals

money worshipping hoe 26.Aug.2009 19:52

you know "you have a right to bear arm excuse when the run off is toxic and unsustainable to 1st world civilizations with out the resupply seadtions infiltrating the sexploitation...." free mama earth" proper trade policy...stop the executives pushing the shareholder dividend demand for more of what doesnt progress to the lessor good..."beware the vice industry investors the true 3rd world molestors of innocence as a form of the only way to get laid is to backstab compassion...!

Brutal act

wateen 11.Sep.2009 14:30

This situation is common in most of the third world countries.

who?

s 20.Sep.2009 00:08

I'm sorry, who are the shareholders and the purveyors of financial instruments that push through with (who?) lobbyist overthrowing integrity of local government???????