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Guatemala and Canada gold rush

Mayan Villiagers
Crossing Continents
Thursday, 21 August, 2008
At 1102 BST on BBC Radio 4

The price of gold has risen hugely and gold mining companies, and shareholders, are reaping the benefits. One of the biggest is Goldcorp, based in Vancouver in Canada.

It owns a mine that has caused controversy in Guatemala.

Bill Law travels to both Guatemala and Vancouver to investigate the impact of the mine on indigenous people in Guatemala. He also explores the limits of ethical investment and corporate social responsibility in a hot gold market.

Local Mayan Indians have said no to the open pit mine they claim is damaging their health and community cohesion.

Goldcorp denies this, insisting it brings benefits to local communities, and that it takes social responsibilities seriously. But, unusually, shareholders went to visit the mine, and were unhappy.

So who is right?

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 21 August, 2008 at 1102 BST. It was repeated on Monday, 25 August, 2008 at 2030 BST.

Reporter: Bill Law
Producer: Arlene Gregorius



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SEE ALSO
Unease over Guatemalan gold rush
21 Aug 08 |  Crossing Continents
Country profile: Canada
12 Jun 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Guatemala
22 Apr 08 |  Country profiles

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