In this series of three interviews with Melbourne radio station 3CR Democracy Center researcher and campaigner Thomas Mc Donagh updates listeners on the ‘Aymarazo’ campaign as it developed over the second half of 2018.
This case, emblematic of the criminalisation of social leaders resisting extractive projects across Latin America, culminated in the October 5th Supreme Court ruling that overturned the prison sentence against Aymara indigenous spokesperson Walter Aduviri after a 7-year legal battle.
The interviews cover the background to the case in a 2011 regional strike that successfully blocked a proposed silver mine owned by Canadian multinational mining corporation Bear Creek; the corporations’ counter-attack using the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) arbitration tribunal system; and the long struggle of communities to clear the names of their leaders and spokespersons dragged through the courts in what amounted to a blatant process of judicial persecution.
He specifically focuses on the court proceedings against indigenous social leader Walter Aduviri, sentenced in Nov 2017 to seven years in prison and a fine of over $500,000 and the international solidarity campaign mobilised, not just to push for the acquittal of Aduviri, but also for an end to the criminalisation of protest against extractive industries in the region more broadly.
All three interview segments are available in the playlist below. If you click on the Soundcloud link you will also find a further interview on the case from 2017 (in English and Spanish) with Real World Radio.
Listen on Soundcloud