Sunday, October 11, 2009

World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization

Mr. Pascal Lamy


World Trade Organization
Centre William Rappard,
Rue de Lausanne 154,
CH-1211 Geneva 21,

Göttingen, July 1st, 2009


I am writing to You in your capacity of Director-General of the WTO to ask for your prompt action on an unwarranted, damaging gold mining business in Paracatu-MG, Brazil.

Canadian Kinross Gold Corporation is about to violate basic human rights such as access to drinking water and farm land through its Morro do Ouro mine expansion project in Paracatu town, a 90,000 inhabitants historical town in northwestern Minas Gerais state, Brazil.

This Kinross business in Brazil is set out to contaminate a valuable drinking water source – the Machadinho Valley – with over 1 million tons of arsenic for the next years, decades and centuries. This business is unwarranted, in view of a clearly disadvantageous cost/benefit relationship for Brazil and its people.

These facts and further evidence of malpractice have been documented during the last two years and are available from

I have asked both the World Bank and the World Health Organization to act in this issue, because they are fully aware of the dreadful social, economical and environmental consequences of arsenic contamination worldwide.

Now I believe WTO is also entitled to act in this issue, and even more so after the joint statement issued as an initiative of the High-level Committee on Programmes (HLCP), which says “coordinated efforts to create a green economy are needed to tackle financial, economic, food, water, energy, ecosystem and climate crises.”

Trading gold for socio-environmental plight is unwarranted. We regard Kinross’ activities in Brazil as an outrageous blunder.

Attached please find copies of the letters sent to World Bank and WHO.

Yours very truly,

Sergio Ulhoa Dani

President of the Acangaú Foundation (Paracatu, Brazil)

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