InvestigativeMEDIA, MiningWatch ask U.S. and Canadian ambassadors to intervene with Peru over detentions

Share

RIMROCK, AZ–InvestigativeMEDIA and MiningWatch, Canada, today sent a joint letter to the U.S. and Canadian ambassadors to Peru asking them to seek information from Peruvian officials about last April’s detention of John Dougherty and Jen Moore in Cusco, Peru.

Mr. Dougherty is the owner and editor of InvestigativeMEDIA and Ms. Moore is the Latin American Coordinator for Ottawa-based MiningWatch, Canada.

Peruvian National Police and immigration authorities detained Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore on the street after the screening of InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” at Cusco’s Municipal Cultural Center on Friday, April 21. The film had been dubbed into Spanish and Quechua.

The film documents Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ worldwide operations and highlights its deployment of the Peruvian National Police to beat and teargas protesters near its Constancia open-pit copper mine near Uchucarco, Peru in November 2014.

Hudbay confirmed in May that it continues to have a contract with the Peruvian National Police to provide security services.

Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore were taken to police headquarters and held for more than four hours and pressured to sign statements. Mr. Dougherty refused to sign any documents without an English-speaking attorney present. There was no warrant issued for their arrest.

The next day, the Peruvian Interior Ministry issued an inflammatory press release (English translation) accusing Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore of inciting civil disturbance that is punishable by expulsion from Peru for up to 15 years. The press release noted that Hudbay has all permits to operate in Peru.

Prior to their arrival in Peru, anonymous articles published in a Cuscso newspaper alleged that Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore were preparing “to ambush” Hudbay. Subsequent articles accused the two of inciting violence after several Hudbay copper concentrate transport trucks caught on fire.

“We believe the stigmatization in the press and by a public authority, along with the police harassment, illegal and arbitrary detention and our ongoing legal prosecution is a result of the privatization of the public security apparatus in Peru and about state authorities and Hudbay Minerals trying to exert control over what information communities living around the company’s Constancia mine have access to,” the joint letter to the ambassadors states.

The letter requests the ambassadors to ask the following questions to Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights:

  • Why were Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore subjected to this sort of surveillance, harassment and criminalization?
  • Why were police tracking their movements from April 18 to 20?
  • Why did the police fail to duly notify Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore and allow them the appropriate time to respond to any concerns about their migratory status, if that was indeed the concern, and instead illegally and arbitrarily detain them for four hours on April 21?
  • On what basis did the Interior Ministry publicly accuse Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore, on April 22, of having incited local campesino populations to violence and demonize them as a threat to public order, internal order and even national security.

Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore left Peru prior to a hearing that was scheduled for Monday, April 24. Both are currently represented by separate legal counsel. Police released an April 22 initial report that documented the screening of the film in several communities near Hudbay’s  Constancia open-pit copper mine. No other evidence has been released as of June 20.

Hudbay Minerals is currently seeking a federal Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its proposed $1.9 billion Rosemont open-pit copper mine planned for the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson, Ariz.

Canada’s National Observer reports on Peru detention of Dougherty and Moore

Share

Canada’s National Observer published an excellent story Friday, May 12, about InvestigativeMEDIA’s owner John Dougherty’s recent detention in Peru along with Mining Watch, Canada’s Jen Moore. Here’s the link: http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/12/news/detained-and-accused-peru-canadian-activist-suspects-foul-play

CFAX radio in Victoria, Canada interviews Dougherty, Moore on Peru detention

Share

Mark Brennae of CFAX radio in Victoria, Canada interviewed InvestigativeMEDIA’s John Dougherty and Jen Moore, Latin America program coordinator for Ottawa-based MiningWatch, Canada on Wednesday, May 10 about their April 21 detention by the Peruvian National Police and Peruvian immigration authorities after a Cusco, Peru screening of Dougherty’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Hudbay Minerals.

The 30-minute interview can be heard here:

http://www.iheartradio.ca/cfax-1070/shows/the-drive-with-mark-brennae-1.1821472

A Sardinian gold mine unearths the deceptive business tactics of Rosemont Copper’s former top executives led by Richard Warke

Share

InvestigativeMEDIA is republishing its 2012 series of stories on the original investors of the Rosemont Copper Mine and their role in a failed Sardinian gold mining project through a Vancouver, B.C. based mining company called Sargold Resource Corp.

One of the original Rosemont investors, Richard Warke, remains a key player in Arizona by seeking permits to develop a massive open-pit silver mine near Patagonia. Warke is now chairman of Arizona Mining Inc., which is seeking state and federal permits to develop the Patagonia mine.

Warke runs an array junior mining companies from Vancouver, B.C. and also serves as Executive Chair of NewCastle Gold Ltd., a company focused on exploring its multi-million ounce gold deposit in California.

These businesses are part of the Augusta Group of Companies, a conglomerate that Warke founded in 2006 comprised of Arizona Mining, NewCastle Gold Ltd. and Armor Minerals.

As detailed below, Warke’s management of Sargold Resources and its Sardinian gold mine raise serious questions. For additional information on Warke’s history of failing to disclose personal and corporate bankruptcies, cease trade orders and stock exchange delistings click here. A video timeline of Warke’s business history is here.

Warke is also featured in InvestigativeMEDIA’s 2012 award-winning documentary Cyanide Beach.

InvestigativeMEDIA’s series of stories on Warke and his business partners including the Sargold investment was later  featured in Global Mining Observer.

Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. purchased Rosemont Copper when it acquired Augusta Resource Corp. in 2014 in a $550 million stock deal. Warke was Chairman of Augusta Resource at the time of the purchase. Augusta Resource, under Warke’s direction, purchased the Rosemont copper prospect for $20 million in 2006.

Hudbay is now seeking state and federal permits to develop the Rosemont mine. InvestigativeMEDIA released its documentary Flin Flon Flim Flam on Hudbay’s worldwide operations and plans to develop the Rosemont mine in October 2015.

InvestigativeMEDIA’s original 2012 story on Warke’s investment strategy in the Sardinian gold mine through the now defunct Sargold Resource Corp. follows below.

Introduction

Augusta Resource Corporation is seeking government approvals to construct a massive open-pit copper mine and dump waste rock and mine tailings on more than 3,000 acres of the Coronado National Forest in the Santa Rita Mountains 35 miles south of Tucson.

The mine would be operated through Augusta’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Rosemont Copper Company.

Augusta, a Vancouver, British Columbia speculative mining company, has never operated a mine and has a very limited business history.

Five of the eight current members of Augusta’s board of directors, however, do a have mining history.

Between 2003 and 2007, these executives were on the board of directors of Sargold Resource Corporation. Sargold owned and operated an open-pit gold mine near the small farming village of Furtei in south-central Sardinia.

InvestigativeMEDIA reviewed Sargold’s publicly available business records and traveled to Sardinia and Vancouver to conduct interviews. The reporting lead to the video documentary “Cyanide Beach”.

InvestigativeMEDIA also prepared the following report on Sargold’s business history that includes a detailed analysis at the end of the historical narrative.

InvestigativeMEDIA offered to meet Augusta officials in Vancouver, but Augusta declined interview requests with the five current Augusta board members to discuss their actions as Sargold directors.

The history and analysis is annotated with links to Sargold’s press releases, regulatory disclosures, court records, Canadian mining claim reports, news articles and scientific studies on the unfolding environmental disaster left behind after the Sardinian gold mine was abandoned. [Read more…]

Hudbay executives brush off invitation to speak at Canadian premiere of documentary critical of Hudbay’s worldwide operations

Share

20160520_FFFF Toronto v2 copy

TORONTO—Arizona independent filmmaker John Dougherty on Thursday personally invited Hudbay Minerals’ top executives, directors, and shareholders to attend the Canadian premiere of his documentary film “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the company’s troubled worldwide operations.

Mr. Dougherty extended the invitation during Hudbay’s annual shareholder’s meeting and offered an opportunity for Hudbay to answer questions following the upcoming screening of the film at 7:00 p.m., May 24, at the Royal Cinema in downtown Toronto.

Alan Hair, Hudbay’s President and CEO, brushed off the offer saying, “Thank you for the infomercial.” He then immediately adjourned the meeting.

Toronto is the first stop of a 13-city tour spanning Canada that will include stops in Montreal on May 25 and Ottawa on May 26 before heading west to Winnipeg on June 7 and Flin Flon on June 10.

The film documents Hudbay’s history of pollution in Flin Flon, conflict with First Nations in Manitoba, alleged atrocities at a nickel mine in Guatemala, brutality in Peru, and plans to construct a massive open-pit copper mine in Arizona in an environmentally-sensitive area that is the home to the only known wild jaguar in the United States.

The Canadian release of the film comes shortly after the New York Times in a front-page, Sunday story reported on allegations of Hudbay committing serious human rights abuses in Guatemala.

Hudbay is the subject of three civil suits in Toronto from Guatemalan peasants who allege the company committed gang rapes, murder and a shooting that left a man paralyzed.

Canadian author Alain Deneault will join Mr. Dougherty for the Montreal screening to answer audience questions following the screening. Mr. Deneault is the co-author of Imperial Canada Inc.: Legal Haven of Choice for the World’s Mining Industries.

Publication of the book was delayed two years after Vancouver-based Barrick Gold threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against the authors and publishers.

The Hon. John McKay, a Liberal Member of Parliament, is sending his Legislative Assistant to attend the Ottawa screening. Mr. McKay called for stronger oversight of Canadian mining operations abroad in the wake of the New York Times story.

-30-

Award-winning journalist screening Hudbay exposé during Canadian tour

Share

Film highlights miner’s record of human rights and environmental abuses

(Phoenix, Ariz) Arizona investigative journalist John Dougherty will begin a 10-city Canadian tour on May 24 at the Royal Theatre in Toronto to screen his documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Hudbay Minerals, Inc.

The Canadian release of Mr. Dougherty’s exposé comes shortly after a New York Times April 2 front-page story reported on Hudbay’s dismal human rights record in Guatemala and pending civil litigation in Ontario that has national consequences for Canadian mining companies operating abroad.

Hudbay stands accused of murder, a shooting and gang rapes in connection with conflicts with indigenous communities in Guatemala. The film includes interviews conducted in September 2014 with many of the same Guatemalans featured in the Times story.

“Hudbay has a long history of tightly controlling information released to the media and the public,” Mr. Dougherty says. “This film produced in the United States provides a rare glimpse into the operations of one of Canada’s oldest mining companies without the threat of a defamation lawsuit that has been used by Canadian mining companies to stop publication of information in Canada. [Read more…]

Documentary exposes how a Canadian miner is seeking to destroy the habitat of the nation’s only known wild jaguar

Share

Rimrock, AZ—InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” reveals the controversial history of Toronto-based miner Hudbay Minerals Inc. that is now seeking state and federal permits to construct a massive open-pit copper mine in the habitat of the nation’s only known jaguar.

A new video capturing the movements of the jaguar named El Jefe released this week is attracting widespread media attention. The video was produced and released by the Center for Biological Diversity and Conservation CATalyst.

Photo by Jonathan Troung

Photo by Jonathan Troung

The jaguar video comes just weeks after InvestigativeMEDIA released “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Hudbay Minerals and its plans to construct the Rosemont mine on the Coronado National Forest in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson, Arizona.

The documentary exposes Hudbay’s history of operating Canada’s most polluting copper smelter, the company’s alleged atrocities in Guatemala where it stands accused in a Toronto civil trial of murder, gang rapes and a shooting that left a man paralyzed, as well as the company’s conflicts with indigenous people in Peru.

The biologically-rich Santa Rita Mountains host a dozen endangered species including the jaguar. The proposed copper mine would destroy more than 3,000 acres of Coronado National Forest and render the northern half of the Santa Rita Mountains useless for recreation, according to the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

“The Rosemont Mine would destroy El Jefe’s home and severely hamstring recovery of jaguars in the United States,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center. “The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important to jaguar recovery in this country, and they must be protected.”

Hudbay still needs a state Air Quality Control Permit, a federal Clean Water Act permit, and final approval from the U.S. Forest Service before the mine could proceed.

InvestigativeMEDIA releases online version of Hudbay Minerals documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam”

Share

“Flin Flon Flim Flam” takes an unflinching look into the operations of one of Canada’s oldest miners

InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. and its plans to construct the Rosemont Copper Mine on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson, AZ, is now available online.

Produced by Arizona-based investigative reporter John Dougherty, the film premiered Oct. 18 at the Loft Cinema in Tucson and was broadcast on KGUN-9 on Dec. 13 in a special edition of Tucson’s weekly public affairs show ZonaPolitics.

Mr. Dougherty traveled to northern Manitoba to report on Hudbay’s historic operations, to the Guatemala highlands where Mayan peasants allege they are the victims of atrocities at the hands of Hudbay, and to the Peruvian Andes where Hudbay has clashed with the local community over the company’s largest operation, the Constancia Mine.

[Read more…]

“Flin Flon Flim Flam” to be broadcast at 4 p.m., Dec. 13 on Tucson’s KGUN-9

Share

The documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on Toronto-based miner Hudbay Minerals‘ worldwide operations and the company’s plans for the proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest east of Tucson will be broadcast at 4 p.m., Dec. 13 on Tucson’s KGUN-9.

The documentary will be aired in a special edition of Tucson journalist Jim Nintzel‘s ZonaPolitics weekly news show.

The film reports on the environmental destruction that would occur if Hudbay Minerals obtains state and federal permits to construct the Rosemont mine on the northeastern face of the Santa Rita Mountains and the threat to Green Valley’s water supply from Hudbay’s planned groundwater pumping.

The documentary also reports on Hudbay’s operating legacy including contaminating its home community in Flin Flon, Manitoba with high levels of heavy metals from a smelter the company operated for more than 80 years.

The 51-minute film also reports on Hudbay’s former mine in El Estor, Guatemala where the company’s security guards allegedly clashed with residents over land claims. A Mayan community leader was shot to death and another man left  paralyzed in the September 2009 violence.

Hudbay is now the target of a three, precedent-setting civil suits in Toronto that have withstood the company’s attempts to have the case thrown out. The cases are proceeding to trial. The cases mark the first time a Canadian company is being held accountable in Canadian courts for the acts of an overseas subsidiary.

The documentary also reports on demonstrations and community opposition to Hudbay’s recently opened Constancia open pit copper mine in Uchucarco, Peru. Residents in the community were beaten and teargassed by Peruvian National Police . Residents in the rural community claim Hudbay reneged on its promises to the community in exchange for rights to the land for the open pit mine.

Hudbay has promised to replace groundwater it pumps from the Santa Cruz River Valley with Central Arizona Project Canal water. Critics, however, cast doubt that Hudbay will be able to fulfill its promise as Colorado River supplies continue to decline.

Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll criticizes the company for engaging in what he says is a “cover up” and “white collar malfeasance” over Hudbay’s failure to publicly disclose to its shareholders and regulators that its Air Quality Control permit for the Rosemont project was overturned last February by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.

This is the second documentary produced by award-winning reporter John Dougherty on the proposed Rosemont mine project.

The 2012 film Cyanide Beach”  revealed the checkered history of the top executives of Augusta Resource Corporation, the previous owners of the Rosemont mine site. Cyanide Beach won first place as best educational film at the Yosemite International Film festival and attracted large crowds at screenings across southern  Arizona.

Hudbay acquired Augusta in 2014 in a $500 million stock deal.