Militarization

The state of Colima did everything possible to ensure that an International and National Observation Mission could not visit the Nahua Indigenous community of Zacualpan during their visit in early 2015. Police were sent out in menacing numbers, along with a small tank, after the Governor's office had told the mission that its way to the community was supposedly clear. Photo: MiningWatch
The state of Colima did everything possible to ensure that an International and National Observation Mission could not visit the Nahua Indigenous community of Zacualpan during their visit in early 2015. Police were sent out in menacing numbers, along with a small tank, after the Governor’s office had told the mission that its way to the community was supposedly clear. Photo: MiningWatch

The stigmatization and marginalization of entire movements as they are criminalized can expose them to further violence, threats, invasive policing, and militarization that might not have been otherwise politically viable beforehand.

Areas where people are resisting extractive projects become increasingly militarized. Vague or inappropriate criteria are used to justify military deployment or states of siege and the corresponding suspension of certain civil rights. Furthermore, police and military are increasingly coordinating with enhanced scope for their work and immunity from prosecution for abuses, particularly in civil courts.

Increased militarization is legalized, and may involve police, secret police and elite forces, who enjoy protection under legal measures that permit members of the armed forces to escape civil justice in cases of human rights violations.

– University of Ottawa Associate Professor Marie-Christine Doran, citing the example of Mexico.

Examples of Militarization

▷ In 1999, Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori introduced a law allowing corporations to contract state military and police officers for private security purposes. Such contractors are permitted to continue using their state uniforms and weapons while on the job. The law is still in place.

▷ In 2013, the site of Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine in Guatemala became militarized in an effort to quash peaceful protest that was growing against the mine. A state of emergency was declared during the month of May and the army was brought into communities who opposed the mine.  At the same time a well known anti-mining activist was murdered and Tahoe’s private security group shot and injured seven men who were peacefully protesting outside the mine site.

▷ In 2013, the site of Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine in Guatemala became militarized in an effort to quash peaceful protest that was growing against the mine. A state of emergency was declared during the month of May and the army was brought into communities who opposed the mine.  At the same time a well known anti-mining activist was murdered and Tahoe’s private security group shot and injured seven men who were peacefully protesting outside the mine site.

More on the Mining Model

extractivism-a-summary
globalization-and-neoliberalism
colonialism
criminalization2
militarization
stigmatization3