COSTA RICA NEWS — The Canadian gold mining firm Industrias Infinito came to this country to dig out precious metal but has spent more time in court than in its La Crucitas mine. Now the firm has lost six farms it owned that were embargoed by the court after it lost a defamation suit against two university professors.
The defense of professors Nicolas Boeglin and Jorge Arturo Lobo won the suit and the court ordered Infinito to pay their legal expenses, claimed to be 117 million colones. When payment did not come, the professors went to court and the court embargoed the farms.
The professors were granted 59 million each in legal expenses. The lawyer for the professors told La Nacion, “They (the mining company) won’t pay because they don’t want to…honor their debt. There’s a confirmed sentence in the Criminal Tribunal that must be paid. They’re obliged to.”
The case won by University of Costa Rica (UCR) biologist Lobo went into effect in March of last year as did the case of UCR law professor Boeglin. The mining company sued the professors for statements they made in a critical documentary on Infinito’s legal problems called “Fool’s Gold.”
Infinito was in a suing mood when it took on the two professors. The company also sued the current lawmaker for Wide Front Party Edgardo Araya. The firm filed against former Citizen Action Party (PAC) lawmakers Manrique Oviedo and Claudio Monge for also allegedly staining the corporate honor.
The company entered this country to establish the La Crucitas mine in Cutris in huge San Carlos canton. It would have been an open pit mine but was opposed by residents and environmentalists who charged that the company itself was a hazard to the ambiance because of use of deadly chemicals to refine gold.
The company had backing of then President Oscar Arias who put the development of the mine on fast track by declaring the mine “in the public interest” but left office in May, 2010. When President Lara Chinchilla took office that year, she was not as sympathetic.
In November of that year, the court found for the opponents of the gold mine and cancelled the concession. The decision was upheld on appeal and later President Chinchilla published a decree banning open pit mining.
But the company seems unfazed by its numerous legal setbacks and a spokesman told La Nacion that it has no intention of leaving the country. Moreover, the company has filed a complaint with the international mediation body CIADI contesting the cancellation of the concession.
Potentially at stake are tens of millions of dollars in precious metal that the company does not want to lose.
Article by iNews.co.cr, reposted with permission