Fellow Savage Mind, Alex Golub, was interviewed extensively for this excellent article in the Ottawa Citizen about conflict between a Canadian mining company and the local population in Papua New Guinea (where Alex did his fieldwork):
And so the stage was set for the tragedy that is Porgera: On the one side, hundreds of people who feel they have every right to scavenge for gold on Mount Waruwari, based on kinship ties, their bond to the land, their gold-panning past or tribal compensation customs.
On the other side, a 21st-century Canadian mine, standing staunchly by its land-for-money deal, buttressed by three security forces.
The fallout is ghastly: Hundreds of villagers have been injured, and at least eight shot to death. One guard was convicted of murder in a 2002 shooting; that case is under appeal. Police are investigating another fatal shooting in March 2005.
The issue of international mining companies vs. native rights was discussed in an earlier post on Keywords. Read filmmaker Vinod Raja’s account of events in Orissa, India.