MAC: Mines and Communities

The 13 year anniversary for Esquel referendum, Argentina

Published by MAC on 2016-03-24
Source: Esquel Assembly

"Time has proved that the neighbours of Esquel were right"

Document of the 13th Anniversary of the March 23, 2003 Referendum in Patagonia

Statement of Esquel Assembly Against the Mine

23 March 2016

Esquel, Chubut - On this day, 13 years ago, this town wrote a key chapter of its history: through a referendum, 81% of the residents expressed a resounding NO to Cordón Esquel gold mining project.

Neither the false promises of progress nor the tricks made by those in power could convince us; because we love our mountains, we understood the fundamental value of water, we decided on our future, one with neither pollution nor plunder.

Time has proved that the neighbours of Esquel were right, so the peoples of our continent struggling against mining, or other forms of extractivism, see hope and inspiration in our history.

Also the residents of San Juan, Catamarca, Santa Cruz, suffering from mining corporations pollution and subjugation, encourage us not to give up, to continue resisting until rulers and companies understand that "NO MEANS NO" and that we want MINING COMPANIES OUT OF OUR TERRITORY ONCE AND FOR ALL.

As we say every year, every anniversary, and every day of our lives: "what is not good for Esquel, is not good for anybody else."

Finally, on the eve of a sad date for Argentina, the commemoration of 40 years from the last military dictatorship, we say never again to the persecution of citizens who fight for a better society.

We do not want human rights violations on behalf of the State, political or economic powers. We defend democracy, where all can exercise our right to participate peacefully, without fear of being persecuted, spied upon or repressed.

We believe in self-determination of the people to build their destiny and we have been doing it since that historic plebiscite of March 23, 2003.

Every day since then, we say: "NO TO THE MINE!".

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