Blackfire Exploration, Mariano Abarca and the Canadian Embassy in Mexico: An Update (November 2022)
In February 2018, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (PSIC) was asked to investigate the conduct of the Canadian embassy in Mexico in light of the murder of community leader Mariano Abarca in broad daylight on November 27, 2009. The murder came seven weeks after senior Canadian diplomats met with Chiapas State officials to “advocate” for Canadian mining company Blackfire Exploration. The complaint to PSIC asserted that the acts and omissions of the Canadian Embassy may have contributed to putting Mariano Abarca’s life in danger and that the Embassy may not have followed policy regarding reporting suspected corruption.
JCAP represents family of murdered community leader in Mexico. Requests investigation of Canadian Embassy support for controversial Blackfire mine (February 2018)
Today, in the main square of the small town of Chicomuselo (population about 6,000) located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, there is a bust of Mariano Abarca. He was a community leader who led protests against the social and environmental impacts of a mine owned by Canadian company, Blackfire Exploration. He was beaten by employees of the mine, detained at the mine’s behest, received multiple death threats and was finally murdered on November 27, 2009. He is survived by his wife and four children. The bust was erected to honour a respected community leader, but it is also a reminder of the role played by a Canadian mining company and the Canadian Embassy that supported the mine.