MAC/20: Mines and Communities

The Environmental Cost of Coal Mining in Venezuela

Published by MAC on 2004-12-13


The Environmental Cost of Coal Mining in Venezuela

December 13 2004

By Robin Nieto, Venezuelanalysis.com

The government of Venezuela under President Hugo Chávez is supporting a controversial plan to increase coal mining production in the oil producing state of Zulia. The plan may threaten the state’s most important water supply, according to biologists, state water authorities and environmentalists.

Coribell Nava, a biologist and teacher at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela in Maracaibo, says that increased coal mining would mean the destruction of the surrounding environment in the biologically rich Sierra Perija Mountains. The mountains are a vital source of water for Zulia, Venezuela’s most westerly state, bordering Colombia.

"Coal is found in the heart of the hydrological valley. The (coal mining) concessions that are being granted in the Sierra Perija would terminate our water source," Nava said.

Maracaibo, the capital of Zuila, holds over half the state’s population of approximately 2.5 million people and depends on only two sources of water in the Perija mountains, the Tulé and Manuelote reservoirs. Both reservoirs are fed by the Cachirí and Socuy rivers respectively.

Corpozulia, the national government’s regional development corporation, is planning to open new coal mines along both rivers above both reservoirs. The state water authority, Hidrolago, is also concerned about the national government’s plan to increase coal production in the area near the water reservoirs.

"If the coal mining project continues, the ecological impact will be disastrous," Herencia Gonzalez said, the manager of the regional institution of Hidroven, the national government’s authority on water.

Gonzalez said that last year she and the Minister of the Environment Dr. Ana Elisa Osorio visited the coal mines currently in operation in the Sierra Perija and said she was shocked by what she saw. "I could not believe my eyes," Gonzalez said, "Is it worth destroying our natural heritage and our water source for coal?" Gonzalez asked.

Indigenous communities and coal mining

The coal mines visited by Gonzalez and Osorio are the Paso Diablo and Norte mining concessions, located just north of the Manuelote water reservoir. Coal mining at these two locations has already displaced indigenous people living in the area. William Fernandez is a 27 year-old student at the Bolivarian University in Maracaibo, and a member of the Wayuu nation. One of 10 brothers and sisters, he and his family were forced to move from their home because of contamination from the coal mines.

"We lived in the Caño Corolado sector by the Guasare River from 1986 to 1995,” said Fernandez. “We dedicated ourselves to agriculture, corn, and the raising of cattle. Because of the effects on the environment we had to leave the area.”

Fernandez and his family are now living in another region that is also being affected by mining, but this time from Barite mines. "We are now thinking of leaving this area too because of how it affects our animals," Fernandez said.

Families like the Fernandez’ are often overlooked by the national government because the population of indigenous communities in the Sierra Perija is small and underrepresented. Communities like the Barí, the Jukpa and the small numbers of Wayuu who have opposed mining have had to do it in the form of protest.

Indigenous territories in the Sierra Perija have yet to be demarcated by the national government and this is something that Rusbel Palmar, a leader within the Zulia indigenous organization, ORPIZ, wants to be settled before new mining projects begin.

"The coal infrastructure plans have not been presented to indigenous people. These plans cannot be done without consultation with indigenous people and different sectors of civil society," Palmar said adding that ORPIZ will not support increased coal production if there are serious environmental consequences. "If the environmental impact assessment finds that there are negative impacts then developments should not continue," Palmar said.

Venezuelan government’s coal production plan for Zulia

The national government’s plan to increase coal production involves hundreds of millions of dollars and includes the construction of a mega port for the international shipping of coal and its extraction by multinational corporations. A thermoelectric plant powered by coal and a railway system to facilitate the transportation of coal from the Sierra Perija mountains to the proposed new port is also in the works. These coal mining projects are set to begin next year according to Corpozulia.

Corpozulia´s plans outlined in the Zulia-wide newspaper, Panorama, in an October 27, 2004 article, shows that a large port to be called Puerto America will be built at the mouth of Lake Maracaibo in the Gulf of Venezuela. Corpozulia has predicted investment for this port to total $160 million. The port represents a vital part of the plan to increase coal production.

Further developments include a $946 million proposal to build a 500 megawatt coal-powered thermoelectric plant to satisfy an electricity demand of 2,800 megavolts in Zulia. A railway system for the "clean and efficient" transportation of coal is also in the works with a predicted investment of $281 million.

Zulia´s water shortage

In sun scorched Zulia, temperatures run regularly between 30-40 degrees Celsius. The state already faces a chronic water shortage felt not only by the people of Zulia`s north-western regions of Mara and Paez, where coal is currently being extracted, but also in Maracaibo where many areas of the city receive running water only once a week.

Recognizing the sever water shortage in Zulia, the national government recently provided a loan of $15 million for water infrastructure for the state’s north-western region. However, this water infrastructure would still depend on the two reservoirs currently under threat of contamination by increased coal production.

Coal mining contaminates water through the dumping of waste and coal runoff into the rivers, according to Nava. The biologist explained that coal contains sulphur, and when coal waste and runoff reaches water sources, the water is acidified, making it deadly for those living organisms that depend on the water. This essentially destroys the ecosystem.

Nava also stressed that it is not only the coal itself which affects the rivers that flow into the water reservoirs, but the deforestation that occurs around Zulia`s water supply that is part of the coal mining process. "The cutting down of pristine forest is just part of the ecological disaster. The deforestation will also affect the water reservoirs since without trees and their roots to sustain the soil of surrounding mountains, the rain will literally wash the soil directly into the water reservoirs," Nava said.

The health of coal miners will also be directly affected by coal says Nava. "Just as the rivers are acidified with sulphuric acid when coal combines with water, the process also occurs within human lungs leading to an illness called Pneumoconiosis."

Drinkable water or regional development

In coal mining regions like Mara, the conflict between water and coal boils down to a choice between clean water or regional development. For many citizens of Mara who currently depend on potable water from trucks and who receive running water perhaps twice a month, water is more important than both coal and oil.

"We can live without coal and oil but we can’t live without water," says 20-year-old Desireé Reverol. Reverol lives in Mara’s capital city of San Rafael de El Mojan located along the coast between Lake Maracaibo and the Gulf of Venezuela. This year, El Mojan, as the city is called, was devastated by consecutive days of rain which left unpaved city roads flooded due to a lack of a functioning drainage system.

At City Hall, the new chief administrator, Elio Moran, who came in with a newly elected mayor who supports the national government, says that the most important sources of revenue for the municipality is tax on coal mining and grants from the national government. Moran says that Mara's challenge to develop a public works infrastructure depends on these revenues.

Due to serious infrastructure problems, seasonal rains take their toll on the streets of Mara, where most roads are unpaved and riddled with deep craters and pot holes, the signs of years of neglect. Moran says the region will use the resources provided by both the coal mining industry and development funds by the national government to get the region on its feet.

"Give us 3 months to change things. If after that time things remain the same then we’re out," Moran said adding that their number one priority is to get Mara roads in working order, a major overhaul which Moran said will begin in a year, the same time new coal development is expected to begin. Moran also pointed out that Carbozulia, a subsidiary of Corpozulia in charge of coal mining, has offered to donate asphalt towards their road development project.

The regions of Mara and Paez, with predominantly indigenous populations, are considered among the poorest in Venezuela.

Due to the lack of a drainage system along roads and a poor sewage infrastructure, rain water mixes with overflowing raw sewage and stays in festering pools all over San Rafael streets for days. And without clean water for such basic necessities such as drinking, washing and cooking widespread illness is a problem each year.

The newly elected municipal government under 25-year-old Luis Caldera, recognizes the problems their region faces and has pledged to fix them or leave office as Moran has stated. But this promise is based on funding from revenue sources such as coal mining and grants from the national government which depends on oil and increased coal production for its own national revenue.

Mara’s development is at the top of Carbozulia`s concerns according to Vice-President Enrique Matta who says that the importance of coal mining in Zulia is the revenues it will provide directly to Zulia for development in regions like Mara. "Coal mining will provide resources through a special (national government) development fund for Zulia and in particular to northern Zulia, to the regions of Paez and Mara," Matta said.

Cost of coal mining

Environmentalists and biologists say that the cost of coal mining far outweighs the economic benefits that it provides to the state. "Coal today currently represents only 0.02 per cent of revenues for the national government," says Lusbi Portillo, a professor of Logic at the University of Zulia and the head of environmental NGO, Homo et Natura.

"Coal is not very significant in terms of economic production," Portillo said. "However coal is important to other countries like the U.S. which consumes more than 900 million tons of coal each year," Portillo said.

The Ministry of the Environment is in charge of weighing the environmental consequences of development in Venezuela. Back in Caracas, the Vice-Minister of Environmental Conservation, Jose Luis Berroteran, said that coal mining in the Sierra Perija in Zulia is incompatible with the vision of the current national government.

"Coal mining is not in accordance in a country that agrees with the Kyoto Protocol. Perhaps coal mining may be acceptable in other countries but not here, not in a country with a government that has a new vision. It runs contrary to policies of sustainable development," Berroteran said.

The conflict between conservation of the environment and coal development is nowhere more obvious than within the national government and its institutions, which are not in agreement when it comes to increasing coal production. While Berroteran does not support further coal development in the Sierra Perija, the Ministry of Environment has yet to ban coal mining along the Socuy and Cachirí rivers that feed the water supply for over a million people in Zulia.

Venezuelan coal mining and multinational corporations

More than 80 per cent of Venezuela’s 8.5 million metric tons of coal extracted each year comes from just two mines north of the Manuelote water reservoir, Mina Norte and Mina Paso Diablo.

The coal mines are each owned by mixed companies composed of private and government shareholders. In each case the national government is a minority partner. Carbones de la Guarija operates the coal mine at Mina Norte, 20 kilometers north of the reservoir. The company is a joint venture between the government’s Carbozulia and privately owned Carbomar, an international consortium that owns 64 per cent of the mine. Carbomar is composed of the following partners: The Massey Family (30.9 percent); Chevron Corporation (29.94 % percent); Meta Corporation (21.56 percent); Art Gommers (8.74 percent); Marcel Van den Berg (8.74 percent); and employees at (0.12 percent).

Carbones del Guasare, which operates the neighboring coal mine at Paso Diablo, 5 kilometers north of Manuelote, is held jointly by Carbozulia, Anglo Coal (24.9%) and new partner, Peabody Energy (BTU). Peabody recently purchased 25.5% of holdings from the German mining conglomerate, RAG Coal International, in a deal worth USD $32.5 million. Peabody Energy is the largest coal mining company in the world with annual sales of over 200 million tons of coal and more than $2.8 billion in revenues. According to Peabody’s company profile, their products fuel more than 10% of all U.S. electricity generation and more than 2.5% of worldwide electricity generation.

With the strong presence of these and other multinational energy companies such as Tomen America, TransMar Coal and Keysone Coal in the coal mining business in Venezuela, the push to increase coal production in a country with proven coal reserves of over 600 million metric tons may be too appealing for the national government to pass up.

"Coal mining doesn't serve the interests of Venezuelans or Zulians. It serves the interests of coal mining multinationals already operating in the country," says Portillo.

Portillo claims that investments for Puerto America will eventually come from the IMF and the World Bank, running contrary to the anti-globalization policies of the Bolivarian government. "Venezuela is serving the (U.S.) empire at our expense and Zulia is a zone of sacrifice." The veteran environmentalist said.

Despite serious environmental concerns about Venezuela’s new coal mining plans as well as oil and mineral exploitation, Portillo admits that the environmental movement under the Bolivarian government of President Hugo Chávez is at its weakest point ever, even weaker than during the previous governments. "It’s like ploughing the ocean," says Portillo, "In an oil culture where we were taught that oil, coal and minerals make us rich, where can you go?," Portillo asks. "PDVSA (the state oil company) is supposedly ours now, it has been rescued from multinational corporations, this is what people believe, and this makes our work as ecologists even harder," Portillo said.

Protest at the Presidential Palace

Meanwhile Portillo has pledged to protest the coal mining projects at the presidential palace in Caracas in March of 2005. "Five buses will take indigenous people and social organizations from Zulia to Miraflores (the presidential palace) because Chávez should provide compensation for the people affected by coal mining.," Portillo said.

The last hope for activists to stop the coal mining plans is direct intervention by the President himself. "Only Chávez can intervene for social reasons," Portillo said.

President Chávez has so far demonstrated support for Puerto America which is vital to increased coal production in Zulia. Many of those against the coal plans support Chávez and the social programs that are part of his Bolivarian platform. However those same people in the communities of the Sierra Perija, in Zulia`s universities and even his own environmental authorities, say they cannot afford the environmental cost of the government’s enormous coal development projects.


A call to action, March 31 2005, 10 am - March in Venezuela to protest about health impacts of multinational coal mining in Zulia

A call to action advertsises a march to the seat of government in Venezuela by Indigenous Peoples from the northwestern state of Zulia, to protest about the health impacts of multinational coal mining in Zulia - lung diseases from fugitive coal dust and deaths on the roads because of coal delivery trucks.

EL PAÍS Y LA REVOLUCIÓN SE NOS VAN DE LAS MANOS

¡Coño Dios! En el ZULIA son varios los trabajadores enfermos de neumoconiosis tirados a la calle para que a solas le llegue la muerte o en sus casas debido al polvo y partículas de carbón en sus pulmones, producto de la explotación de las empresas mixtas Carbones del Guasare y Carbones de La Guajira

Todo el recorrido lo tienen lleno de polvo y partículas de carbón, al igual que centros poblado aledaños a los terminales de embarque de Santa Cruz de Mara, El Bajo de San Francisco, la Ceiba y la Cañada de Urdaneta

En el municipio Mara, no existen familias que no tengan un ser querido lisiado o muertos por constantes accidentes viales provocados por las gandolas que transportan el carbón mineral desde las minas, hacia los terminales de embarque a orilla del Lago de Maracaibo.

Millones de litros de aguas subterráneas y superficiales del río y caños se contaminan y desaparecen a diario. Varios poblados indígenas Wayúu como el Paso, el Escondido y todos los ubicados hasta el sector Siloé en Carrasquero hoy toman agua contaminada producto la explotación de carbón.

Las escombreras donde se deposita la materia inerte de las minas de carbón, forman varias hectáreas de montañas preconstruidas que afectan los frágiles bosques de la cuenca y el sistema de escorrentía del río Guasare. Fauna, poblados Wayúu y haciendas se han destruido para darle paso a esa explotación del carbón.

Esta extracción minera se ha ejecutado, sin interrupción, desde el año 1987 en tierras de los indígenas Wayúu, 8 millones de toneladas anuales salen de las minas Norte y Paso Diablo a través de CORPOZULIA/CARBOZULIA en asociaciones con el gran capital multinacional de las empresas Anglo American Coal (ingleses surafricanos), Ruhrkohle (alemanes) [Carbones del Guasare, S.A.] y la Inter-American Coal-Chevron [Carbones de La Guajira, S.A.].

Hoy estos mismos entes mineros amplían sus actuales minas y pretenden continuar abriendo otras nuevas en tierras Wayúu de las cuencas de los ríos Socuy, Maché y Cachirí, pero esta vez acompañados con la gigante brasileña Vale do Rio Doce (CARBOSURAMÉRICA), la irlandesa Carbonífera Caño Seco, para llevar la exportación en La Guajira a 22,5 millones de toneladas

Más de 250 mil hectáreas del piedemonte de la Sierra de Perijá, brazo occidental del final de la Cordillera Andina, han sido otorgadas en el Zulia, Venezuela, para poder satisfacer la inmediata demanda de 36 millones de toneladas de carbón anuales de Brasil, Europea, pero principalmente de los Estados Unidos

Esta vez, los capitales son los de las empresas Corporación Carbones del Perijá (chilena), Tomen (japonesa), Excel (australiana), TrasMar Coal y Minera MAICCA (estadounidense). No se entiende como nuestro gobierno revolucionario a través del Ministerio de Energía y Mina y CORPOZULIA: presiona la salida de los indígenas Barí y Yukpa de sus territorios y se niega a reconocer las tierras autodemarcadas por los indígenas tal como determina la nueva constitución y la Ley de Demarcación de las Tierras Indígenas.

Esta puntual tragedia hoy amenaza a todos los indígenas, parcelas agrícolas y haciendas, aguas, biodiversidad, montañas y bellezas escénicas de todo el piedemonte de la Sierra de Perijá; los ríos Catatumbo y Zulia, el estado Táchira, los poblados del Sur del Lago Encontrado y Santa Rosa, La Fría, La Ceiba, Nazareth, Sabaneta de Montiel y las islas del Golfo, hábitat tradicional de los indígenas Añúu, a través del complejo vial y multimodal Puerto América que financia el Gobierno de Holanda, el Banco Mundial, la empresa holandesa Alkyon CORPOZULIA y PDVSA (con dinero del campo petrolero Ceuta Tomoporo) sólo para complacer intereses foráneos energéticos a costa del dolor, el desplazamiento de indígena y campesinos, la muerte y la desgracia del Zulia.

El proyecto minero portuario vial es la piedra angular en el occidente del país del Plan Puebla Panamá (PPP); los llamados Ejes de Integración Andino: Río de la Plata Amazona y Orinoco-Apure y Brasil, Venezuela, Cuyana y Surinam que no son otra cosa que la Integración de la Infraestructura Regional Sur Americana (IIRSA). Infraestructura vial por donde los exportadores y las multinacionales sacaran por el Atlántico desde Colombia y Brasil, pasando por Venezuela, los recursos naturales energético-mineros, madereros, agrícolas y de biodiversidad hacia la costa este de los Estados Unidos y Europa, para lograr este objetivo se requiere la paralización de la demarcación de las tierras indígena por parte del Ministerio del Ambiente y de Energía y Minas, el Instituto Nacional de Tierras (INTI) y la Ley de Tierra, hoy en manos de los ganaderos; la amenaza real de los negocios con transgénicos; las nuevas plantas carboeléctricas en Zulia y Táchira; la devastación de Imataca y el Delta de los Guaraos; el tendido eléctrico por tierras de los indígenas Pemones; los puentes sobre el río Orinoco; los dragados de ríos y caños, el gaseoductos Venezuela-Colombia-Panamá-Centro América-México-Estado Unidos y el dirigido al norte de Brasil, así como la electricidad generada de la represa hidroeléctrica que se construye con prestamos de Brasil sobre el río Caroní; la fibra óptica; las carreteras y vía ferroviarias desde Manao hacia el puerto de aguas profunda a construirse en el estado Sucre.

En estos proyectos no sólo está en juego las infraestructuras y un desarrollo interno atendiendo necesidades foráneas, sino la democracia participativa, protagónica y peor aún, la soberanía de nuestro país. En Venezuela ya no hace falta el ALCA, pues esta ya está recompensada con la entrega del gas, de campos petroleros maduros, de más carbón, la aplicación del PPP y la IIRSA, la flexibilización fronteriza, jurídica, arancelaria y aduanal.

EL PUEBLO TIENE DERECHO A PARTICIPAR Y SABER LO QUE SE FIRMA EN SU NOMBRE. ¡NO AL PPP Y A LA IIRSA!
¡NO A LA EXPLOTACIÓN DEL CARBÓN, NI A PUERTO AMÉRICA!
¡SI AL AGUA Y A LAS TIERRAS DE LOS INDÍGENAS!
TODOS A LA MARCHA Y A LA CONCENTRACIÓN FRENTE A MIRAFLORES, 31 de marzo: 10 am.

Related Articles:

El Impacto del Negocio del Carbón en la Cuenca del Lago de Maracaibo http://www.minesandcommunities.org/Country/venezuela2.htm

Con Puerto América Perderemos el Golfo de Venezuela http://www.minesandcommunities.org/Country/venezuela3.htm

El Carbón No es Negocio para Venezuela http://www.minesandcommunities.org/Country/venezuela5.htm


Another direct intervention from mining companies in public education systems and curriculums

The Bolivarian University of Venezuela and the Subregion Guajira to change their educational curriculum

By Sociedad Homo et Natura

Venezuela, August 5, 2005

The Technical Training Group is the company contracted by General Carlos Martínez Mendoza, current president of Corpozulia/Carbozulia, to change the curriculum of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UVB) and the Subregion of Guajira, with the objective of strengthening "endogenous" projects of coal mining and the binational railway to the Gulf of Venezuela and Puerto América, now called Puerto Simón Bolívar.

The "endogenous" projects planned for the state of Zulia in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela have been structured and based upon the exportation of fossil fuels, therefore the mining, transportation and shipping of coal, and later, natural gas, will define the immediate future and life of the various inhabitants of the state, especially the indigenous Wayúu, Añúu, Yukpa, Yanshituu (Japreria) and Barí people of the border regions.

Anticipating this reality, transnational companies and the Venezuelan government, through the Corpozulia/Carbonzuila and private-state companies Carbones del Guasare SA and Carbones de La Guajira SA have joined together to hire the company Grupo Técnico de Capacitación (Technical Training Group) to initiate a process of changing the educational system in order to promote these changes in the "endogenous" model of production. The technology and industrialization of coal will now be the framework which rules the
educational system in the cities where coal is mined, processed and shipped, and where coke plants or coal-fired electrical plants are located.

But behind this political initiative is the embassy of Brazil, fervant defender of the interests of the company Vale do Rio Doce/Itabira Rio Doce Company Limited, whose president, Roger Agnelli, is a member of the Economic and Social Development Board of President Lula. This mining giant has clearcut hundreds of kilometers of forests, with the financial support of the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES), not only in the Sierra dos Carajás in the southeast of Pará (Brazil), but in various other countries, where their public relations consultants stretch the imagination by painting their projects with pretty names as "Garden Mines" (Minas Jardín) which General Martínez Mendoza is currently promoting in Zulia.

This company joined with Carbozulia to form Carbosuramérica, whose sole objective is to "promote mining activities in the deposits knows as 'Socuy' and 'Casigua', located in the coalfields of Guasare in the municipality of Mara, and in the municipality of Jesús Maria Semprún, both located in the state of Zulia."

To promote both their own interests and those of their contractors in Manao between Chávez and Lula and to favor of Vale do Rio Doce (Rio de Janiero, Brazil) to mine coal in the Socuy river basin, General Martínez Mendoza is now joining forces with the company representatives in the country as well as the Brazilian embassy in order to launch a media campaign to promote the so-called benefits of "endogenous" coal mining. The hiring of the company Technical Training Group, will be to coordinate the producing curriculum of higher and middle levels of educational system in the universities and schools of the Subregion Guajira as well as various training centers and religious colleges of Guana, Don Bosco and the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.

To General Martínez Mendoza and Roger Agnelli, it doesn't mean much that Venezuela isn't a strategic power of it's coal deposits, which in reality only contain only 8% of the 1.6% of the world's coal contained in South America and the Caribbean, in order to start a educational and economic system that will bury the potential for tourism, fishing and agriculture in the Subregion Guajira. Within 30 years, with freshwater exhausted and soils contaminated, and a society unemployed, with a mining-exportation mentality, it will be very difficult to return and start up these economic activities again.

The changes in the educational system that Corpozulia/Vale do Riio Doce are intending will achieve that even President Chávez will not recognize the order against coal mining which now contains the report that the President ordered, through the creation of a Presidential Comission headed by the Minister of Environment Jacqueline Faría, which stemmed from a march against the coal mining in Miraflores on Thursday March 31, 2005.


A la UBV y a la Subregión Guajira se le cambiará el curriculum educativo

Por Sociedad Homo et Natura/ANPA/ANMCLA

Venezuela, 5 de agosto de 2005

El Grupo Técnico de Capacitación fue la empresa contratada por el General (R) Carlos Martínez Mendoza, actual presidente de Corpozulia/Carbozulia, para cambiarle el curriculum a la UBV (municipalizada) y a la Subregión Guajira en aras de fortalecer los proyectos “endógenos” de explotación carbonífera, la vía ferroviaria binacional hacia el Golfo de Venezuela y Puerto América, hoy denominado Puerto Simón Bolívar.

Los proyectos “endógenos” concebidos para el estado Zulia (República Bolivariana de Venezuela) a través de la dinámica la Integración de la CAN y el MERCOSUR, léase Colombia y Brasil principalmente, han sido estructurados a partir de la exportación de combustibles fósiles, de allí que le explotación, movilización, embarque y desembarque de carbón y posteriormente el gas, definirán en el futuro inmediato la vida de los distintos pobladores del estado, en especial de los pueblos autóctonos indígenas fronterizos Wayúu, Añúu, Yukpa, Yanshituu (Japreria) y Barí.

Adelantándose a esta realidad hoy los capitales transnacionales y el Gobierno venezolano a través de Corpozulia/Carbozulia y sus empresas mixtas Carbones del Guasare, S.A. y Carbones de La Guajira, S.A. se unen para iniciar, a través de la contratación de la empresa de servicios Grupo Técnico de Capacitación, un proceso educativo en función de viabilizar dichos cambios en el modelo productivo “endógeno”. Es la tecnología del carbón y su industrialización el parámetro que regirá ahora la educación en los municipios donde se explota, movilice o embarque carbón, o donde se encuentra una planta de coque, o una carboeléctrica. Así como en la gestión pasada del Ing. Bautista en la presidencia de Corpozulia salió el programa carbonífero nacional, hoy, en la gestión de Martínez Mendoza, saldrá el cambio curricular para cualquier municipio carbonífero o minero de República Bolivariana de Venezuela.

Pero detrás de esta iniciativa política se encuentra la embajada de Brasil defensora a ultranza de los intereses de la compañía Vale do Rio Doce/ Itabira Rio Doce Company Limited (11.200 millones de euros), cuyo presidente, Roger Agnelli, es miembro del Consejo de Desarrollo Económico y Social del presidente Lula. Este gigante minero que ha arrasado, con el apoyo financiero del Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Económico y Social (BNDES), con centenares de kilómetros de bosques, no sólo en la Sierra dos Carajás en el sudeste del Pará, Brasil, sino en varios países donde sus técnicos publicitas expresan hasta la locura el maquillaje de sus mal llamadas “Minas Jardín” que tanto promueve en Miraflores y en el Zulia el General (R) Martínez Mendoza.

Esta empresa conjuntamente con Carbozulia se asociaron para constituir la empresa Carbosuramérica cuyo único objetivo es “promover la actividad minera en los yacimientos conocidos como "Socuy" y "Casigua", localizados el primero en la Cuenca Carbonífera del Guasare en el Municipio Mara y el segundo en el Municipio Jesús María Semprún, ambas localidades del Estado Zulia”

Por defender los intereses propios y los contraídos en Manao entre Chávez y Lula a favor de la Vale do Rio Doce (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) o Itabira Rio Doce Company Limited (Nassau, Bahamas) de explotar carbón en la cuenca del río Socuy, hoy el General (R) Martínez Mendoza une esfuerzos estratégicos con los representantes en el país de esta empresa y de la embajada brasileña para la promoción mediática de las tales bondades “endógenas” del carbón, de la supuesta técnica de menor impacto de mina a cielo abierto que posee la empresa para sacar carbón del Socuy y el montaje con la empresa Grupo Técnico de Capacitación para adecuar el sistema de estudio nivel medio y superior en los centros educativos de la Subregión Guajira, pasando por los distintos liceos, INCE, y centros educativos religiosos de Guana, Don Bosco, y la UBV-municipalizada.

Al General Martínez Mendoza y al señor Roger Agnelli para nada les importan que Venezuela no sea ninguna potencia estratégica carbonífera, que en verdad sólo posee el 8% del 1,6% del carbón que a nivel mundial posee América del Sur y el Caribe, para iniciar un sistema educativo económico que termine de sepultar el potencial turístico, pesquero y agropecuario de la Subregión Guajira. Dentro de 30 años, ya sin agua y tierras fértiles, y con una sociedad con mentalidad minera exportadora desocupada, sería muy difícil regresarse para retomar estas únicas actividades económicas (las antes señaladas) dadoras de soberanía riqueza/empleo y ciudadanía.

Esta actividad educativa Corpozulia/Vale do Rio Doce a promover por el Grupo Técnico de Capacitación tienen como fin inmediato lograr que el propio Presidente Chávez desconozca el resultado contra la explotación de carbón en el Socuy contenido hoy en el Informe que él como Presidente ordenó elaborar a través de la conformación de una Comisión Presidencial encabezado por la Ministra del Ambiente Jacqueline Faría, a raíz de la entrada a Miraflores de los promotores y organizadores de la marcha contra la explotación del carbón del jueves 31 de marzo de 2005.

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