Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment”; Second Regional Meeting on Mining and its Impacts on Indigenous and Rural Communities

At the end of November, Peace Brigades International (PBI) published a special report entitled “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment in Mexico,” which seeks to “give voice to the defenders who confront grand economic interests and demand their rights to the land and a healthy environment, especially those who have been targets of violence for this reason.  To give visibility to the contradictions, interests, and violation of rights produced by mining projects, PBI has consulted experts and defenders who promote and/or protect the rights of communities affected by exploitation in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luís Potosí, Baja California, and Durango.”

The report indicates that “In recent years, the worsening financial crisis and the instability in international relations have resulted in an increase in the value of gold and other metals.  Mining exploitation-sites that previously were not so profitable have become very lucrative capital-projects.  The Mining Congress of Mexico (Camimex) notes in its 2011 report that the profits had during the previous year reached 15.474 billion dollars, 51% more than in 2009.  Mexico furthermore has been the primary producer of silver since that time.  These positive results contrast with the situation of campesino and indigenous communities that are affected by mineral exploration and exploitation.  The extraction of these resources is frequently grounds for conflict between these communities with organizations that defend human rights on one side and extractive firms and public authorities on the other.”

In an illustration of this dynamic, on 26 November there was held the Second Regional Informational Forum on Mining and its Impacts on Indigenous and Rural Communities in San José del Progreso, Ocotlán, Oaxaca.   The final pronunciation of the event asserts the following: “we express our total rejection to mining in the region of Ocotlán and Ejutla.  We denounce that the San José, Los Ocotes, Monte Albán, and Taviche mining projects were NOT debated in ejidal or citizens’ assemblies, and for this reason they do not enjoy the consent of our communities for their operations.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Tierra Minada la defensa de los derechos de las comunidades y el medio ambiente en México (PBI México, December 2011)

Declaración final del Segundo Encuentro Regional Informativo sobre Minería y sus Impactos en comunidades indígenas y rurales (26 November 2011)

Se oponen pueblos indígenas a empresas mineras (Noticiasnet.mx, 7 December 2011)

No a proyectos mineros en Ocotlán: comuneros (NSS Oaxaca, 6 December 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Mexico: Damages due to mining in Cahuaré denounced (27 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Mining exploration continues in the Montaña region without permission from communities; reinstallation of the blockade against La Parota (January 13, 2011)

Guerrero: Mobilization of the Communal Police against mining (9 August 2011)

Oaxaca: Civil Mission of Observation “Water is Life; Let us Defend its Existence” (8 September 2010)

Chiapas: pilgrimage against “death projects” (3 December 2010)

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