dorset chiapas solidarity

November 8, 2013

Chicomuselo Under Siege from Mining Companies

Filed under: Mining — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:43 pm

 

Chicomuselo Under Siege from Mining Companies

 ** The Samuel Ruiz García Committee warns

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, November 7, 2013

The Samuel Ruiz García Committee for the Promotion and Defence of Life shows its concern about the insistence of corporate entrepreneurs to reactivate mining exploitation, now on the La Revancha plot of the Grecia ejido, in Chicomuselo municipality. The committee recently documented that mining companies “entered the Nueva Morelia ejido without permission from the ejidal authorities of that community.”

According to residents, “mining employees or entrepreneurs arrived on October 30th aboard a double cabin RAM pick up truck.” When crossing through the community, “a group of neighbours formed by young people, women and children intercepted them to question them about their presence in the place,” and they identified themselves as workers from the Zacatecas Operator Mining company, and one of them also as an ex employee of the Canadian mining company Black Fire.

These individuals argued that they were “authorized” by José María Velázquez, a neighbour of Chicomuselo and the alleged leader of the El Surco organization, “who told them that they could pass through Nueva Morelia to reach the place where the La Revancha Mine is found closed.”

According to residents, who are opposed to the mining project, “no one from outside the ejido has the authority to grant permits to strangers, much less to mining company entrepreneurs.” The ejido owners have been in disagreement “ever since they became aware of the environmental effects, as well as the health effects and the effect on the fabric of the community caused by the mining company in Chicomuselo, which also took the life of opposition leader Mariano Abarca Roblero.”

They made known to these “mining entrepreneurs” that they would continue organizing to defend their territory together with other ejidos that reject the mining projects, in accordance with official proceedings of their ejido assemblies, “conscious of the fact that they are a threat to their very lives, because they destroy the environment, and that the argument of development and jobs is a pure lie.”

The human rights committee remembers that on December 7, 2009, mining activity was suspended on the Grecia ejido, due to the violations committed by the company of the environmental impact statement given by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat, its Spanish acronym), which affected Nueva Morelia, San Francisco Las Palmas and other communities of Chicomuselo.

Similarly, “it is concerned about the confrontation in this municipality ever since September 21 (when) Señor Fernando Coello Pedrero, grandfather of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello, was present” and threatened in front of a group of young people that they would exploit the mines “even without permission from the communities.” Coello Pedrero was accompanied by the aforementioned Pérez Velázquez, who “is supposedly a contact with the companies interested in exploiting the resources in Chicomuselo, where 16 permits for mining exploration and exploitation of minerals have been given, some effective for 50 years.” In recent months different companies have attempted to enter into the communities without the consent of the residents. That “has obliged them to organize to defend themselves and to stop them, like happened on August 9 of this year at Cuatro Caminos, in the Monte Sinaí ejido.”

The Samuel Ruiz García Centre emphasizes the constant denunciations from individuals and groups “that show disagreement with the manipulation that the government seeks to exercise through programs like Procede and Opportunities so that they demonstrate in favour of the education and energy reforms driven by the federal government.”

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, November 8, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/11/08/politica/018n1pol

 

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