Groups File Documentation with RCMP on Canadian Mining Company’s Involvement in Mexican Corruption Case

Mar 10, 2010

(Ottawa and Toronto) A coalition of Canadian non-governmental groups today filed a memo with the RCMP asking it to investigate Calgary-based Blackfire Exploration Ltd. and its Mexican subsidiary under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. Blackfire had submitted documentation of its payments to the mayor of Chicomuselo in the state of Chiapas, Mexico to the state Congress in June, 2009. These documents are now in the hands of the RCMP. Bribing a foreign public official is illegal under the rarely-used Act, one of the few Canadian laws that applies internationally. Under this Act any person found guilty could face up to five years in jail.

“There are really no other legal controls on the activities of Canadian companies operating internationally,” said MiningWatch Canada spokesperson Jamie Kneen. “We’re especially interested to see if anything can be done in this particular case because it’s so appalling.” Rick Arnold, coordinator of Common Frontiers, added, “The company’s own documents show that it paid off the local Mayor and another municipal authority. We need to know – and the Mexicans deserve to know – that something can be done about this.”