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Making Profits with War: Canadian Corporations in Colombia

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Project Description

Research questions we need help investigating include:

What are the main Canadian corporations in Colombia? What are their activities there? How do they interfere with national legislation to secure their investments? (for example, the Canadian Mining Corporation played an important role in the creation of the new national mining code which was written in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency). What are the main corporate lobbies behind the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Colombia? Do Canadian corporations employ private security forces operative in Colombia?

Peasant organizations are requesting research support to identify the corporations acting on their land. A resume of the research paper will be translated into Spanish to be shared with some Colombian organizations, and will serve as a guideline to target main Canadian corporations, and to follow their behaviour in Colombia in order to organize public campaigns in Canada in the context of the new Free trade agreement with Colombia.

Description of final project

The length of the final research product is flexible. Utilizing existing documents as a starting point, the research will focus on one or more Canadian corporations, including a history of their presence in Colombia, their influence on national legislation, and their relation to armed groups in Columbia. This should include research into their Canadian presence (do they also conduct business or other activities in Canada? Do they have representation in Canada?) in order to help develop guidelines for a public campaign that might focus on the corporation as a visible target in Canada.

Research Methodology & Support Provided

The researcher will have access to Colombian research on foreign mining corporations, as well as training materials on using search engines to do investigative research. In addition to other avenues, the researcher will look deep into news sources and corporate reports in order to update and add to existing documents detailing the activities of Canadian companies in Colombia. Direction will be provided by the community group.

Skills Required

The candidate should have an interest in economic development and international trade, and should already have some basic knowledge regarding the Colombian conflict.

A strong sense of autonomy and self-motivation is important.

Capacity to make official contacts in order to gain access to inaccessible information is an asset. Some direction can be provided.

Some basic skills in Spanish will help to extend the research to include Colombian official papers.


Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (PASC)

About the Organization

PASC is a radical non-profit organization based in Montreal. We propose to concretize direct solidarity by sending international witnesses to Colombian peasant communities in order to bring support to these communities, to affirm their rights as civil populations living within a war zone, and to support these communities’ efforts in claiming their rights to land and self-determination.