Photo @ Desinformemonos
In a press conference, the president of the republic Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said “that the Federal Government will respect all the mining concessions in the country and the permits will not be revoked.” He announced that during his government no more agreements of this type will be signed, since more than 25% of the national territory has been given over in the past 36 years. He said that since his campaign he had made the commitment that the concessions would not be revoked. AMLO guaranteed however that the communities where mining is carried out will benefit from the taxes paid by the mining companies.
He also mentioned that “it will seek that mining companies, particularly those of Canadian origin, carry out clean exploitation and act as they are obliged to do in their country.” “That the miner is paid well, that they pay the amount of taxes they pay there, and that they do not pollute.”
The statements contradict others issued by AMLO, in the municipality of Minatitlan, state of Colima, in 2014, which were published through the official website of the president through which he said that when the National Regeneration Movement triumphed, the concessions would be thoroughly reviewed for the mining exploitation that had been given to foreign companies. That wasbecause, he said, the riches of Mexico would have to be for the benefit of Mexicans, not foreigners.
Several newspapers also stressed that in February, during the Mexico Mining Forum 2019, the Undersecretary of Mining of the Ministry of Economy reported that “the cancellation of more than five thousand mining concessions in the country is being analyzed.”
Meanwhile, Miguel Mijangos Martínez, spokesman for Mexican Network of Those Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) stated that “the policy of the federal government has very mild nuances. If we see the problem of the extractive model as a whole, mining, water, biodiversity, fracking (hydraulic fracturing), gas … there are no significant changes. In REMA we think that the positions of power were reinforced, because now there are former entrepreneurs in public positions, (and that is) a position of advantage against the communities”, according to La Jornada. It stated that more than teo thousand rural communities in about 50 municipalities of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, Guerrero, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi have declared themselves free of mining through legal actions.
Many of these communities continue with their demands for the cancellation of concessions in their territories, among them the Zapotec peoples of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca and the Wixarikas of San Luis Potosi. The latter hope to be able to engage in dialogue with the president on a final judgment given the injunctions that were processed in 2012 against the 78 concessions granted to two Canadian mining companies during the Felipe Calderon administration, which cover 70% of the 140,000 hectares of the protected natural area of Wirikuta.
For more information in Spanish:
Prevén otra ola de despojos de mineras y petroleras en México (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2019)
Al triunfo de MORENA, se revisarán las concesiones de explotación minera en México, asegura AMLO (Lopez Obrador, 21 de marzo de 2014)
No se otorgarán nuevas concesiones mineras: AMLO (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2019)
Impuestos por extracción minera llegarán a comunidades, asegura AMLO (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2019)
Wixárikas esperan diálogo con AMLO para proteger su territorio de mineras (Vanguardia, 19 de marzo de 2019)
Exigen a AMLO la cancelación inmediata y definitiva de las concesiones mineras en Oaxaca (El Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Zoque People’s Assembly against extractivism (September 20, 2018)
Chiapas: No to Mining Press Conference (September 30, 2017)