Friday, May 20, 2011

Update on bad medicine at San Martin mine


Last fall, I wrote a poem, “The Mine Clinic,” about the “medicine” practiced by health professionals affiliated with the Canadian Goldcorp’s mining operation in Siria Valley, Honduras. A recent update from Rights Action – “Goldcorp, Honduran Regime Cover up blood & urine testing and poisoning at San Martin Mine” - with more information and suggestions for what people (especially Canadians) can do at the link:
Going back to at least 2007, Goldcorp Inc. and the government of Honduras have known about and covered up information about blood poisoning and health problems caused by Goldcorp's open-pit, cyanide leaching "San Martin" mine in the Siria Valley, department of Francisco Morazan, central Honduras. This mine is operated by Goldcorp's subsidiary Entremares.

Even though Goldcorp suspended its mining operation there in 2008, villagers in numerous towns near the mine site suffer recurring health harms, even today. Local residents - as well as cows -- have died of health problems likely caused by the mine.

Had Goldcorp and the government of Honduras released the results of their 2007 blood and urine samples, and accepted responsibility to care for the health harms caused by the mine, villagers in the Siria Valley might have received appropriate medical attention. Instead, the results were covered up until now. Still, neither Goldcorp nor the government have accepted responsibility.


[T]he people of the Siria Valley do not need medical treatment for just those 62 people whose blood and urine were sampled in 2007, though they do need that.

Needed is an acknowledgement by the government of Honduras and by Goldcorp that there are past and on-going health and environmental harms caused by Goldcorp's mining operation, and that Goldcorp and the government are responsible to do everything necessary to provide comprehensive treatment and compensation to all affected people and communities, and to repair the underlying environmental contamination and harms.

Needed are all the health files - including complete results of the blood and urine tests - to be returned to the 62 individuals.

Needed is a comprehensive medical response to the widespread contaminants and health harms throughout the Siria Valley.

Needed is a comprehensive environmental assessment of the entire region, to test for on-going air, earth and water contamination; followed by a comprehensive environmental rehabilitation program to make the region again safe for living.

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