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Rob Robinson | by uusc4all
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Rob Robinson

UUSC members also provide technical assistance to help partners further their goals and assert their rights. Rob Robinson of Golden, Colo., an expert in reclaiming the environment from degradation caused by mining, is helping the Commission for Peace and Ecology (COPAE) of the diocese of San Marcos in Guatemala to hold GoldCorp accountable for contaminating water resources and damaging homes. COPAE wanted to establish a community-controlled water-quality monitoring project because neither the government nor GoldCorp would take their contamination claims seriously, even though community members were showing skin-related disease normally associated with toxic chemicals in water. Recently retired, Robinson offered his skills in helping UUSC set up water-quality monitoring with COPAE. Robinson raised funds, put together a team of highly expert technical and support staff, and traveled to Guatemala to deliver water-test kits, train COPAE staff, and assist in reporting to the communities, government ministries, and elected officials. As a result of the project, the Ministry of the Environment has requested that the Ministry of Mines and GoldCorp establish a water-quality monitoring program to track toxic chemicals. Most recently, the team reported to the Congress of Guatemala, affected communities, and the press on damage to homes caused by the mine.

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Taken on April 18, 2007