We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Foreign Aid to Mining Firms

Click here to access article by Gwendolyn Schulman and Roberto Nieto from The Dominion (Canada).
In the past, while NGOs were bound by financial ties to the state, they still had some nominal autonomy to bear witness to that abuse. Now, they are increasingly tied to government funds earmarked to further Canada’s mining interests, topped up by money from the mining industry itself.
I am on mailing lists of people who are tracking the activities of mining companies in Central America, and I receive almost daily horrific reports of massacres of indigenous people and other atrocities committed by US trained government police and armies in Central America and environmental pollution caused by mining companies. Such stories rarely make it into mainstream media.

Of course, there is nothing unique about Canadian NGOs. This same applies to US NGOs.