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CUPE and other unions need to stop investing pension funds in Latin American mines, urged two of four panelists at the international solidarity forum at the 45th annual CUPE Ontario convention in Niagara Falls, Ont. May 21-24.

Canadian pension fund investments in multinational mining operations in El Salvador, Chile and other Latin American countries are having a devastating impact on the people, the land and the water.

“Divest from Goldcorp,” said one speaker. “Oppose Canadian mining in El Salvador,” said another. Two resolutions also addressed the issue.

A third speaker, a Haitian-Canadian, called on participants to appreciate the history of the Haitian slave revolution in the early 1800s and to respect the struggle for democracy in the Caribbean country. She called on CUPE locals to arrange exchange visits to Haiti.

A fourth speaker, originally from Chile, asked participants to support Shawn Brant, an aboriginal leader who faces a lawsuit for his stand against the exploitation of native land. A resolution also called for on the division to “lobby provincial/federal governments to return all lands rightfully belonging to the Tyendinaga Mohawks.”

Other international solidarity resolutions dealt with the war in Afghanistan, privatization, Haiti and the need for more member education on international solidarity.