Oaxaca: Communities Affected by “San José” Mining Project Occupy SEMARNAT Offices

Communities affected by mining project occcupy SEMARNAT Photo @EDUCA

On February 28, commissions from various communities of the Ocotlan Valley United People’s Coordinator (COPUVO) and the Magdalena Ocotlan Defense Committee against Mining, demanded a halt to the work of the Fortuna Silver Mines (FSM) mining company in a demonstration at the headquarters of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). They managed to be received by the SEMARNAT delegate, Tomas Gonzalez Illescas, who assured them that the body that he directs “has not granted any permission to the mining company and that therefore the establishment of an investigation would correspond to the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) and, if applicable, sanctions that could lead to the cancellation of the concession.” For their part, a representative of the community of San Martin de los Cansecos warned: “The communities and ejidos are organizing, and we will not allow them to make explorations and expand the mining project.”

It should be noted that since 2014 the mining company FSM, through its subsidiary Cuzcatlan, “carries out illegal exploration for the “San José” mining project, as SEMARNAT has assured that it has not granted permits for these actions.” For this reason, on November 8, 2015, at a regional assembly, their territories were declared free of mining and they decided not to allow any exploration and mining work on their ejidos. In spite of this, on November 24 last, “the WSF company proposed a technical study to SEMARNAT with the objective of conducting direct mining explorations in zones of agricultural use within the mining concession Progreso II.” The area where the mining company intends to conduct explorations is also an area for recharging aquifers, so permitting exploration permits constitutes a serious environmental threat. Faced with such a situation, the affected communities submitted a letter to SEMARNAT on December 1, “demanding that said authority deny authorization … because of the impact that such work would have on our communities”, which has not yet received a response.

 For more information in Spanish:

NIEGAN SEMARNAT Y PROFEPA PROTEGER TERRITORIOS EN OCOTLÁN Y EJUTLA FRENTE A PROYECTO MINERO (EDUCA, 28 de febrero de 2017)

Toman SEMARNAT comunidades afectadas por proyecto minero San José (EDUCA, 28 de febrero de 2017)

Denuncian zapotecos indolencia oficial frente al avance de proyectos mineros en Oaxaca (Proceso, 28 de febrero de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: A 3 años del asesinato de Bernardo Vásquez, Fortuna Silver espera mayores ganancias (26 de mayo de 2015)

Oaxaca: presentan el informe “Justicia para San José del Progreso” (11 de marzo de 2014)

Oaxaca: Misión Civil de Observación a San José del Progreso (Noviembre de 2012)

Oaxaca: Asesinato del vocero de la Coordinadora de los Pueblos Unidos del Valle de Ocotlán (17 de marzo de 2012)

 

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