Hard to grasp the power relations in our world, the many tentacles of corporate power and of state power, the sheer amount of empirical material that overwhelms the imagination. It is difficult to sort through information, to find out what is accurate and what is important, even more difficult to get access to information that is hidden away from public view. How do we come to know of the cozy relationship between firms and governments, the surplus from labour distributed amongst a small class of people that also own the media and prevent easy understanding of these processes? It is the ambition of our series – Briefing – to digest complex social dynamics into easily read texts, our team of researchers reading thousands of documents to produce a few pages in summary. These texts assemble key facts to illuminate power relations and to encourage debate on issues of importance.
From the Tricontinental, every few months, will appear a Briefing which will distill the complexities of power into a short document. These Briefings will deliver sharp assessments of corporate and state power, from the world of mining to the world of weapons, from the world of tax shelters to the world of sweatshops.


Raw minerals are needed for everyday life, but when that life is also the cost of our infrastructural needs it is time to start asking questions. Why do 60% of the world’s mining companies have their headquarters in Canada? In this briefing we provide the financial details of ten Canadian mining companies. This data becomes a corporate crime rap sheet when it is read alongside concise accounts of the most horrendous violations committed–globally–by these companies. Canadian wealth is deeply dependent on a depraved indifference to human life, an indifference seemingly shared by Canadian mining companies.