jueves, 13 de septiembre de 2007

Información sobre la Minera San Xavier

La siguiente nota fue publicada en el diario THE EASTERN DOOR de la region indigena Mohawk de Kahnawake, dando cuenta de la visita que la delegacion del FAO llevo a cabo en esta reserva.


“The land is the issue”:

Mexican delegation seeks solidarity with Kahnawake.

Vol. 16 No. 32 • August 31, 2007




Last weekend, a Mexican delegation came to Kahnawake to share similar stories of resistance and to request a formal statement of solidarity from Kahnawake’s Longhouse on Route 207.

On Friday morning, after a visit and tour of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, the Mexican delegates arrived at the cultural centre, where they were greeted by staff and some community members, given lunch and a tour, and shown a documentary about the Oka crisis.

Before starting the tour, Tiorahkwahte, a member of the cultural centre’s board, welcomed the delegation in Kanien’kéha and invited its elder representative, Mario Martinez Ramos, to introduce their cause.

Ramos, an engineer specializing in hydrological geology, historian Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara and lawyers Marta Rivera Sierra and Tonantzin Mendoza Rocha traveled from the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, as representatives of the Frente Amplio Oppositor (FAO), a broad opposition front seeking to expose, denounce and stop the illegal mining practices in and around one of the state’s most important villages – Cerro de San Pedro.

Metallica Resources, a company based in Denver but registered in Canada, is “destroying the environmental and historical legacy of Cerro de San Pedro” for the extraction of gold and silver, Ramos said.

Despite a Mexican Federal Tribunal Court decision in April of 2004 to revoke their permit, the Canadian company continues to illegally transform the village and nearby mountain into a large open-pit mine, “with the complicity of the authorities.” In the process, the mining company is taking hundreds of hectares of land and pushing local inhabitants out of the village by force. Metallica Resources plans to use 25 tons of explosives and 16 tons of cyanide on a daily basis, which will affect the quantity and quality of water for at least three million people in the state. “Without water, there is no life,” Ramos said.

Tiorahkwahte told the group that the issues of water, health and land are essential to Kahnawake. “I see this as feathernesting, ”he said. “It’s almost like reincarnation of 1990,” he said. “The land is the issue.” “Except in their territory,” said Joe Deom, chairman of the cultural centre’s board of directors, “It’s even more dangerous because the government is allowing the paramilitaries to do the work.”

“Not even in Chiapas (a largely Indigenous Mexican state) are there such grave human rights problems as in Cerro de San Pedro,” Ramos said.

Enrique Rivera, a lawyer from San Luis Potosí who opposed the mine and accompanied the delegation in Kahnawake, is one of the victims of what Deom and Ramos referred to. After being beaten nearly to death by a paramilitary group hired by Metallica Resources, Rivera fled Mexico and is now seeking asylum in Canada.

The people of Cerro de San Pedro “carry the Indigenous struggle in their blood,” Rivera said. Historically, the state of San Luis Potosí was part of the Gran Chichimeka region and home to the Huachichil tribes and their Indigenous languages, including Nahuatl, Otomie and Tenek. The Huachichil peoples managed to resist the Spanish Conquest for 50 years, until they were wiped out completely. “Most of us are defending the Cerro San Pedro for the love of our culture, history and identity,” said Rocha, an inhabitant of Cerro de San Pedro whose house has been shot at because of her opposition to the mine. “The identity of the state is based on that mountain,” Ramos said.

“We share a lot of similar views and the attachment to the land,” said Donna Goodleaf, executive director of the cultural center. “I hope people will open their hearts and minds to hear their story because they too are trying to protect their children, families and homeland from oppressive governments like Canada and from multinational corporations.”

Some of the investors in Metallica Resources are in Canada’s backyard, including CIBC and the Caisse de Depot.

“Another company wants to dig up our resources and take the blood out of our Mother Earth,” said one Kahnawa’kehró:non who attended the event. “Mexico does the same thing that Canada does to the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.” He said that the encounter between the Mexicans and Kahnawa’kehró:non was important to build relations for discussion in future generations. “As resistances start connecting on a global level and start sharing their methods, the struggle for life will advance,” Rivera said. It is important to have links with the Mohawk community because they “have shown a sign of unity and organization when they had to defend their Mother Earth, which is what is happening in Cerro de San Pedro,” he said.

On Sunday, August 26, at around 11am, the Mexican delegation presented their case to the 207 Longhouse Council, and asked for a letter of formal support, addressed to their people.The Council agreed. “It has a very strong impact on our community to have an Indigenous community of this importance support us,” Sierra said. “Having their solidarity and respect in writing is pure gold,” she said. “Their resistance helps ours.”

“We ask the Mohawk community to keep spreading their culture and supporting the struggles of oppressed peoples of Mexico,” Sierra said, for a similar struggle “against a trans-national with the support of the Canadian government to a land they pretend is theirs.”

“I’m on my way out,” Ramos said, “but what will happen to my kids, grandkids?” The four delegates returned to Mexico on Monday morning to an uncertain situation, after ten days of press conferences, requests for solidarity and pleas for action.

Fighting back against the mines in Mexico

Over 1,000 people descended on Montebello to protest against the Security and Prosperity Partnership, here is one of their stories

By Misha Warbanski

On the outskirts of San Luis, the capital city of the Mexican state San Luis Potosi, Metallica Resources, a Canadian mining company, began full production of an open-pit gold and silver mine this past May. Concerned about the impact of the mine on the community, Mexican Citizen’s group the Broad Opposition Front (FAO) began mobilizing.

Five members of the FAO arrived at the Security and Prosperity Partnership two weeks ago in Montebello, Quebec, to bring their complaints to the Canadian public and major investors in the mining company.

According to a report from the non-governmental organization Mining Watch, a survey of people’s support indicated between 97 and 99 per cent of the population of San Luis were opposed to the mine.

Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara is a professor and a head organizer of the FAO. He was born and raised in the town of San Pedro, now a ghost town at the foot of the mountain Cerro de San Pedro. His main concern is that Metallica’s mine will pollute the aquifer that provides drinking water to 40 per cent of the state.

“What really lit people up was the issue of the water. Water is too rare there. What the hydrologists know now is that the water table of the aquifer is dropping five metres per year,” Ruiz Guadalajara explained through a translator. “It’s an aquifer of about 2,000 square kilometers in area. So the problem is it’s already going down. The water is getting sucked up for other reasons, so if it gets contaminated, then it’s really a problem.”

The mine’s own impact assessment indicated contamination will occur. The mine operation itself will use an estimated 32 million liters of water per day. To extract the mineral, cyanide is mixed with water and the solution is pumped over the ore.

The FAO is also worried about blasting so close to the town. The road to the mine is just a few hundred metres from the old village of San Pedro. Already cracks are visible in the foundations of the buildings Ruiz Guadalajara says are of important historical and cultural significance. The National Institute of History and Archaeology of Mexico was working on getting UNESCO to recognize the area as a world heritage site.

“They were doing this as a means to protect the town from the activity of this mine. This was in the very early years when the mine was just projected. That process of petitioning UNESCO has been politically interrupted,” says Ruiz Guadalajara.

McGill history professor Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert has studied the region for many years. He began researching the history of the area around the Cerro de San Pedro, looking at the foundations, the history of mining and political struggles going right back to the 16th century.

“As a historian, I started with the beginning of his town to see how it developed. And what I’m realizing is I’m witnessing the end of this town as well,” says Studnicki-Gizbert. He says the Cerro de San Pedro’s importance is similar to Mount Royal for Montrealers.

“Mount Royal is a place where Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve trucked up with the cross and founded the city of Ville Marie. And it’s a symbolic centre and as time goes on. The park on the mountain is kind of a really key part of the life of the city. It’s strong in that sense. It’s the same thing with Cerro de San Pedro.”

The political heat is turning up for the FAO. A lawyer with the group, Enrique Riviera fled the country fearing for his freedom after Mexican authorities cracked down on protesters for handing out flyers and used the country’s anti-terrorism laws to apply severe sentencing. He is staying in Montreal and has applied for refugee status. Six people with the FAO have been taken as political prisoners since opposition to the mine began.

Backed by Mexico’s political opposition, the Party of the Democratic Revolution, the FAO took advantage on the Security and Prosperity Partnership meetings in Montebello to raise awareness in Canada about the mine.

“The majority of Canadians have no idea what these companies are doing in Canada’s name. The Canadian government has a role to play. They have complicity because their laws allow these companies to do what they’re doing. But this is nothing less than environmental assault on territories and communities in Mexico,” says Ruiz Guadalajara.

Opposition to the mine is growing in Canada through groups like Mining Watch and KAIROS, a church-based group concerned with human rights. But the issue is complicated by the fact that while Metallica Resources is registered in Canada and traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, it is based in Denver, Colorado. But several major investors are Canadian, including the CIBC. The FAO wants to pay a visit to the bank’s headquarters in Montreal during their visit.

Información de la lucha de Cerro de San Pedro en contra de la Minera San Xavier

13MB/27MB 02.06.2007 - RADIO INSURGENTE

Escuchar a 32 kb | Bajar a 64kb

Fuente: Kolectivo Azul.

No hay comentarios: