Cressida’s Statement at Barrick Gold’s AGM, Toronto, 2018
My name is Cressida Kuala I hold a proxy from Rachel Small.
I am an indigenous Ipili woman and a human and environmental rights defender from Porgera in Papua New Guinea. I have come here from half way across the world to speak to you all – as have other men and women from my community over the past ten years.
Sadly, the past year has been another very bad year for my people as the mine continues to contaminate our waterways and erode our land. And my people are suffering from human rights abuses because of the mine’s security forces and its operations. In March last year numerous houses in Wingima Village – just next to the open pit – were burnt down again by heavily armed police who guard the mine. In July, the mine dumped chemical waste material that caused serious burns to more than 150 men, women and children. And in October, 15 year old Boi Nelson Nai, was run over and killed by one of the mine’s loader trucks. There has been no compensation given by the mine for any of these victims.
Also a hundred and nineteen women who have been raped by Barrick’s security guards took their complaint to the UN because they are deeply dissatisfied with the remedy Barrick has given them. Many more women who have been raped by mine security and police guarding the mine are still waiting for remedy.
My questions are:
1) When will Barrick pay compensation to the more than 150 men women and children who suffered burns from the chemical waste dumped by the mine, and for the family of Boi Nai who was killed by the mine’s loader truck?
2) When will Barrick finally give the 119 women who were raped and gang raped by mine security the compensation they are asking for?
3) When will Barrick finally give compensation to the many other victims, including more rape victims, who have filed their claims at the mine’s grievance office years ago, but have not yet received any response?