Oaxaca: Mining in Capulálpan

[Source: Mining site near Ixlán, Oaxaca, Mexico. Photo by Dawn Paley, Upside Down World ]

With gold prices skyrocketing, Vancouver based Continuum Resources mining company has opted to reopen the semi-abandoned mine of La Natividad, historically Oaxaca’s richest gold and silver field.

However, this move has not come without resistance from the surrounding communities of Ixlán, and especially Capulálpan, which lie 60km north of Oaxaca’s capital city.

“For 230 years, gold and silver mining companies have been exploiting tunnels in the mountains,” explains Francisco Garcia López, member of Capulálpan’s Commission of Communal Goods. “The whole territory of Capulálpan is communally owned.”

In contradiction to Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ratified by Mexico), the community of Capulálpan has seen its water supply diminish and deteriorate as a result of mining activity, has seen its lands eaten up by Continuum (54,000 hectares at La Natividad alone), but has seen no action by the government to protect its rights.

As a result, members of the community took measures into their own hands, blocking the main highway out of Oaxaca City for five hours to force the government into negotiations.

Consequent to these negotiations, Continuum had several environmental complaints logged against it, which led to a temporary closure of La Natividad. However, Continuum states that it is determined to carry its project forward, violence or no.

For more information:

Canada’s Mining Continuum: Resources, Community Resistance and “Development” in Oaxaca, Mexico (upsidedownworld.org 23/1/2008)

The reputational imperative of ILO 169

Made in Canada Violence: Mining in Mexico

Oaxaca, México: La mineria y la defensa de los recursos naturales en la sierra norte

Operación de minera en Oaxaca acaba con manantiales de la zona


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One Response to Oaxaca: Mining in Capulálpan

  1. MxMining says:

    With Mexico’s fairly recent changes to their mining law there is more protection for the foreign investor. Mexico has a lot of untapped mineral resource riches and the country needs economical growth in the mining sector. Not only does mining provide economical growth but it provides infrastructure into areas that need it too.

    As long as Mexico continues to revise their mining law to be more attractive to foreign investors the mining sector will continue to grow in Mexico.

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