World Day Against Opencast Mining
Poster for international day of struggle against mega-mining in defence of life and water. (Photo:@OtrosMundos)
In the framework of World Day Against Opencast Mining, which is commemorated on July 22, several events were held in different parts of the country. In Oaxaca, for example, groups in the isthmus region took part in the forum for “Strategies of Struggle for the Defence of Mother Earth and Territory” in the capital of Oaxaca. This event was part of the national campaign in defence of Mother Earth, which gives voice to the experience of hundreds of people preyed upon by mining projects in Mexico. Other collectives, the Lawyers and Defenders of Public Interest Collective, Common Borders and Greenpeace Mexico presented the manual “Protection of Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (PESCER) of Peoples and Communities Against Mining Megaprojects in Mexico” as a tool to address the abuses of mining projects throughout the country.
One day before, in the framework of resistance, communal and agricultural authorities, communities and organizations in Oaxaca and other Mexican states, met in Oaxaca to launch the State Rebellion Against Mining Day. They released a statement in which they expressed their “decision to fight together to stop these abuses and to affirm our own ways of living and governing ourselves.” They were worried “because these violations cause immense damage to Mother Earth and rip apart the social fabric of communities causing divisions and confrontations.”
In accordance with data published in El Universal in 2014, it is currently estimated that at state-level there is a concession of an area for 793,525 hectares for metal mining. As such, a fifth of Mexico has been given over to the mining sector. Marisa Jacott, Common Borders director, explained that “the massive destruction of natural resources caused by mining activities are manifold, such as air, water and soil pollution on a large scale; violent dispossession, repression and crime against forms of territorial defence and community organization; deteriorating health of local residents of mines; as well as the impact suffered by miners for working in high-risk conditions and the intensive use of dangerous materials and chemical substances.”
Due to this, the PESCER manual deals with the relationships and tensions caused by mining, and proposes that it is “from overexploitation, deterioration and allocation of natural resources that the Mexican State favours the profit of private and foreign interests over social [interests] and in this way breaks collective rights.” However, the manual proposes the use of legal and non-legal tools for communities to strengthen their struggle for the defence of their territory, heritage and health from the increase of predator mining in Mexico.
Posted on 4/8/16 by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity