MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Fresh Declaration by Latin Americans denounces murderous "extractivism"

Published by MAC on 2019-12-03
Source: The Ecologist (UK)

A raft of Latin American organisations, backed by supporters in Canada and the UK, has  launched a trenchant declaration against mining, prompted by September's climate justice conference and renewed indigenous persecution in Chile.

A declaration on climate crisis, energy transition and extractivism in
Latin America.

COP25, social movements and climate justice

Coalition of Climate Justice Movements 

The Ecologist (UK)

2 December 2019

Social movements were organising their opposition to COP25 - in which
those most affected by climate violence would be sidelined - even before
the popular mobilisation started in Chile and Sebastián Piñera suspended
the talks.

A gathering in Chile in September brought together frontline defenders
to discuss the climate crisis, a just energy transition from the mining
extractivist model that is killing Chileans and people all over the
global South.

Now, following the brutal repression of the uprising and Piñera’s
attempts to avoid scrutiny, their analysis is more important than ever.

In the declaration that follows, Latin American climate justice
movements and their allies state their opposition to the neoliberal
extractivist model, and propose a justice-oriented approach to solving
the climate crisis that will not sacrifice the peoples of the global South.

Declaration

The 'Regional Gathering: Climate crisis, energy transition and mining
extractivism in Latin America' was held from September 26 to 28 in
Santiago, Chile.

Faced with the undeniable climate crisis and the false solutions
proposed by multilateral spaces that have been co-opted by the
transnational business sector and supported by governments, the meeting
was organised by the Latin American Observatory of Environmental
Conflicts (OLCA), the Observatory of Mining Conflicts of Latin America
(OCMAL) together with War on Want and Mining Watch Canada.

We consider:

That national and transnational companies and governments, mainly of the
industrialised North, are those truly responsible for environmental
breakdown due to their extractive activities in search of capitalist
accumulation and the promotion of consumerism.

That the current discourse around the climate crisis places the blame on
individual responsibility, thereby distracting the attention from those
most responsible.

That the peoples, communities and organisations that resist these
extractive activities – in defence of life, water and territories – are
stigmatised, repressed, criminalised and murdered.

That companies and extractivist governments are the ones who commit true
criminal acts against all forms of life, violating Human Rights and the
Rights of Nature.

That mining extractivism in all its phases causes ecocide and ethnocide
in the different territories where it operates.

That hidden behind the discourse of the 'energy transition' is a program
of economic growth for the Global North which threatens to exponentially
increase sacrifice zones under the auspices of guaranteeing the supply
of minerals for so-called 'green' technologies. This will come at the
cost of the exploitation of our territories and communities, all while
intensifying the ecological crisis.

That the recent panic surrounding the climate crisis in the Global North
can only ever be understood in the context of the struggles present in
our urban and rural communities of the Global South, who have been
resisting the intersecting social and ecological crises since the
inception of colonialism. This panic cannot impose false solutions or
reproduce extractivism.

That the climate crisis, as part of an ecological crisis, is a condition
of the capitalist world development model.

We denounce:

Any attempt by mining companies to benefit from the climate crisis using
deceptive initiatives such as: “inclusive tailings”, and the ‘adoption’
of environmental liabilities, Responsible Mining, Green Mining,
Sustainable Mining, Ecological Mining, Clean Mining, Climate Smart
Mining, Future Smart Mining, offsetting mechanisms for social and
environmental damages, Green Economy and any other concept that seeks to
wash its image or perpetuate impunity.

The actions of governments and corporations that dismember, divide,
privatise, auction-off and commercialise nature and our territories to
turn them into resources, merchandise or environmental services.

Visions of a transition which reproduce extractivist capitalism,
including those focused on the nationalisation of minerals and oil and
do not guarantee structural changes.

Any appropriation of local knowledge, expertise and wisdom by mining
companies and governments to encourage extractive activities.

That extractivist companies, in addition to exploiting the environment,
also engage in widespread corruption, eliminating trust in public
institutions and the functioning of the judicial system.

That to date, the COPs have failed to provide real solutions to address
climate injustice and inequality caused by predatory extractivism.
Instead they have, under the pressure of Northern countries, made
decisions in the interests of the economic model which is responsible
for the ecological and climate crisis.

We recognise:

That the strength to face this crisis lies with young people, women,
communities and organisations, movements and territories.

That our anti-capitalist struggle is also a decolonial, anti-patriarchal
and anti-racist struggle.

That the true knowledge-keepers of territories are those who have
historically inhabited them.

That nature is a subject of rights and recognition of this is a global
necessity.

The self-determination of peoples to resist and say "no" to the invasion
of mining companies in their territories.

We will fight

So that ecological justice emerges from the territories where the
processes to protect life, water, ecosystems and Mother Earth are
increasingly threatened and impacted by predatory extractivist capitalism.

To strengthen and respect the autonomy of communities and their
organisations to define solutions in the framework of justice and equity
based on nature, the planet and humanity.

For the respect of the Indigenous peoples, peasants and other
communities, who are the guardians of their territories.

To cease the auctioning of mining and oil concessions in our territories.

Alongside frontline resistance to mega-mining and processes which seek
mining-bans.

To ensure that mining companies which have benefited from the looting of
nature are fully liable for mine-closure processes, and that integral
repair of the territory arises from collective and participatory
processes led by affected communities.

So that environmental catastrophes, pollution, murders and any other
violation in territories affected by mining companies are recognised for
what they are: crimes. It is urgent to develop binding policies and
mechanisms to confront the generalised impunity enjoyed by companies,
their owners, their executives and their financial centres.

To strengthen organisations and movements that fight in defence of the
territories.

To develop regional solidarity and agreements to ensure food, energy and
economic sovereignty.

To defend water in all its states as a source of life.

To sow, celebrate and strengthen territories free of mining.

Signatories:

Asamblea por la Defensa del Elki (Chile/Elqui)
Acción Ecológica (Ecuador/Quito)
Asamblea por el Agua del Guasco Alto (Chile/Huasco)
Belén dice NO a la minería (Chile/Arica)
CENSAT Agua Viva (Colombia/Bogotá)
Centro de Documentación e Información Bolivia (CEDIB) (Bolivia/Cochabamba)
Centro de Investigación sobre Inversión y Comercio (CEICOM) (El
Salvador/ San Salvador)
Codemaa (Chile/Atacama)
Comunidad Indígena Diaguita Patay Co (Chile/Huasco)
Coordinadora Ambiental Valles en Movimiento Limarí – Monte Patria
(Chile/Limarí–Monte Patria)
Coordinadora Penco-Lirquén (Chile/Penco-Lirquén)
Coordinadora por la Defensa del Río Loa y la Madre Tierra (Chile/Calama)
London Mining Network (Reino Unido/Londres)
Movimiento por las Sierras y Aguas de Minas Gerais (Brasil/ Minas Gerais)
Mesa Comunal de Turismo Monte Patria y Limarí (Chile/Monte Patria - Limarí)
Mining Watch Canada (Canadá/Ottawa)
Observatorio Conflictos Mineros de Zacatecas (OCMZAC) (México/Zacatecas)
Observatorio de Ecología Política de Venezuela (OEPV) (Venezuela/Caracas)
Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA)
(Chile/Santiago)
Observatorio Plurinacional de Salares Andinos (OPSA) (Chile/Atacama)
Putaendo Resiste (Chile/Putaendo)
Red de Afectados por la Vale (Brasil/Minas Gerais, Brumadinho)
Red de Mujeres El Loa (Chile/Calama)
War on Want (Reino Unido/Londres)

 

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