006_Global12_InBox_V5

Global issue 12

Inbox Vietnam puts bloggers behind bars Chile and Peru Freedom of information campaigners veillance since taking part in protests over concentrate minds tences imposed by a Vietnamese court in and Paracel islands. He was initially charged over mineralsChina’s claim to sovereignty over the Spratly- have expressed outrage at the harsh sen Ho Chi Minh City on three bloggers. and jailed on charges of tax fraud but, instead Nguyen Van Hai (who used the blog of being released at the end of that sentence As the global market for minerals slack- name of Dieu Cay) was sentenced in Sep- in 2010, he remained in jail while his second ens, Chile and Peru have agreed to work tember to 12 years in prison followed by trial was repeatedly postponed. together to attract investment in their five years of house arrest. Female blogger Phan Thanh Hai, arrested in October substantial copper resources. Ta Phong Tan received ten years in jail 2010, had written about Vietnam’s territo- Peru’s energy and mining minister, and five of house arrest, and Phan Thanh rial disputes with China, its bauxite mining Jorge Merino, said the two countries Hai (blog name Anhbasg) received four and the fate of other dissidents. Ta Phong could increase their proportion of glo- years in jail and three of house arrest. Tan blogged about corruption and injustice. bal output from 40 to 50 percent and Arrested in April 2008, Dieu Cay had writ- Reporters Without Borders places Viet- were therefore looking for “synergies, ten about the protests that accompanied the nam high on its ‘enemies of the Internet’ opportunities and threats to our mar- Olympic torch relay before the 2008 Beijing list – coming third after China and Iran for kets”. The meeting came shortly after Olympic Games. He had been under sur- its jailing of bloggers and cyber-dissidents. reports that investment and production were declining in both countries. Haiti camps narrowly escape tropical storm gest copper producer, recently revealed-bigworld’stheCodelco,Chile’s that its plan to attract $100 billion of investment by 2020 was unlikely to be achieved. Peru’s investment target of $50 billion is also under threat, es- pecially in light of continuing protests from local communities against the op- erations of the mining companies. There have been delays in developing Peru’s gold and copper Conga project in the Andean region of Cajamarca, in which Newmont Mining is investing $4.8 billion. A state of emergency, declared following the deaths of several people in protests there, has now been lifted, but lo- cal communities remain concerned that the project will affect local water supplies. The Conga project involves building res- ervoirs to water that will be removed from Haiti’s dire housing situation was exposed by Tropical Storm Isaac which struck the island in August existing lakes high in the Andes. Xstrata’s Tintaya copper mine, near Tropical Storm Isaac, which hit Haiti in viding housing rental solutions.” Cuzco, has also experienced social con- late August, highlighted the urgent need The well-coordinated response to the flicts. In June, a burst pipeline caused to close the 575 camps in the country that first major storm of the hurricane season toxic slurry to spill from the Antamina have been sheltering nearly 400,000 peo- followed months of preparatory work by copper mine, jointly owned by BHP ple since the disastrous 2010 earthquake. Haiti and its international partners to build Billiton, Xstrata, Mitsubishi and other Luckily, on this occasion, there was rapid resilience into the civil protection system. firms. More recently there was waste and coordinated reaction, in which the most Storms have caused thousands of deaths in spillage from the Atacocha zinc mine, vulnerable people in camps were evacuated Haiti in the past and strike with predictable owned by Peruvian and Brazilian firms. well before the storm struck the country. ferocity. The capital Port-au-Prince was Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, However, people were returned from evac- spared when Isaac turned out to sea and elected to office last year, has promised uation shelters to the camps as soon as the away from the city. Even so, eight people to foster a new relationship between storm passed over. “The camps got lucky this were killed, according to the authorities. mining firms and local communities, time and dodged the bullet,” said the Haiti The huge depression brought heavy rain but his administration has already faced chief of mission of the International Organi- and winds in excess of 100 kph that destroyed more than 250 instances of conflict zation of Migration, Luca Dall’Oglio. “But thousands of tents and shelters in the camps. across the country. The government has the international community needs to act now “While civil protection and preparedness now proposed doubling penalties for to close all the camps by providing rental sub- will continue to be a high priority for Haiti companies that cause pollution while sidies and housing solutions for those living for the foreseeable future, we will fall down mining minister Merino recently af- there. The social and financial costs of evacu- on the job as humanitarians if we do not ur- firmed that the government is commit- ating a camp population every time there is a gently find the necessary resources to close ted to improving dialogue. major storm can far outstrip the cost of pro- these camps quickly,” Dall’Oglio said. 6 lwww.global-briefing.org fourth quarter 2012global


Global issue 12
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