The bishop of the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, has confirmed that the parishioner of the municipality of Chicomuselo, Eleazar Juárez Flores, has been threatened with death, as had previously been reported by the ‘Ecclesiastic Base Communities’ of this location, for having “accompanied” the communities that oppose the exploitation of barite carried out by the Canadian firm Blackfire.
In November of last year, Mariano Abarca Roblero, leader of opposition to barite-mining operations, was killed. Following the murder, state authorities temporarily closed the mine, but Blackfire advanced a legal case before the federal government. In April of this year the fifth judge of the district, with headquarters in Tuxtlá Gutierrez, decided in its favor, so that soon these operations will be able to resume.
For more information (in Spanish):
Bishop Arizmendi expresses his “total support” for the parishioner of Chicomuselo, threatened with death (La Jornada, 11 October 2010)
Death-threats against parishioner of Chiapas are denounced (Milenio, 11 October 2010)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: the Peace Network presents report on Chiapas’ border zone (13 October 2010)
Chiapas: Canadian delegation investigates mining abuses (2 April 2010)
Chiapas: demonstration during the visit of Canada’s Governor General (10 December 2009)
Chiapas: Anti-mining activist Mariano Abarca killed (1 December 2009)