Barrick Gold Chairman Peter Munk Defends Augusto Pinochet & Gang Rape in New Guinea
Excerpt from “The Ugly Canadian Digs In,” by Yves Engler, TheTyee.ca, 21 Nov 2012
‘Building the Canadian Advantage’
.. As part of their promotion of voluntary efforts the government launched Building the Canadian Advantage: A Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector. In October 2009 they established an Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor with a $620,000 budget to probe complaints about abuses committed by Canadian companies in poor countries. But, the Counsellor could not intervene — let alone take any remedial action — without agreement from the company accused of abuse.
By late 2011 the Toronto-based CSR Counsellor’s office had received only two complaints, noted CBC.ca, “one of which was dropped because the mining corporation chose not to undergo the voluntary investigation.”
The person [Conservative Party Trade Minister] Stockwell Day appointed as the initial CSR Counsellor, Marketa Evans, was the founding director of the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies. Established with funding from Peter Munk, chairman and founder of Barrick Gold, the billionaire maintained significant influence over the Centre with its director reporting to a board set up by the Munk family. Munk espoused far-right political views. He defended Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and virulently attacked Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. In a March 2011 Globe and Mail interview he dismissed criticism of Barrick’s security force in Papua New Guinea, which led Norway’s pension fund to divest from the company, by claiming “gang rape is a cultural habit” in that country.