MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Latin America Update - Exigen nueva Ley de Minería para Honduras: enfrentamiento dejó

Published by MAC on 2007-07-20


Latin America Update - Exigen nueva Ley de Minería para Honduras: enfrentamiento dejó como resultado 71 detenidos y 12 heridos

20th July 2007

In Honduras, at least 12 people were injured and 72 arrested when police violently cleared several roadblocks set up by protesters demanding a new mining law.

In neighbouring Guatemala, citizens of Santa Cruz Barillas, Huehuetenango, reiterated their rejection of mining and asked the authorities to respect the result of a community consultation on the issue. Over 15 community consultations of this kind have taken place in Guatemala since 2005.

The Famatina mountain range in the province of La Rioja, Argentina, was the site of the fourth national gathering of the Union of Citizen Assemblies (UAC). The weekend included a 'caravan' to Peñas Negras, where citizens blocked Barrick Gold's exploration actvities for four months. The third day of the gathering was dedicated to a 'citizens'' International Tribunal against the company. Activists from Chile, USA and Argentina, armed with testimonies from communities around the world, acted as witnesses and provided documentation of Barrick's activities to a panel of judges composed of respected local leaders. Barrick was finally found guilty of "irreparable damages" and environmental and social genocide

The world's number one gold company was also targeted by protestors in Chile this week, as the Canadian Prime Minister gave time to Barrick Gold on his visit to Santiago, rather than to affected communities. Harper said that as far as he knows Barrick "follows Canadian standards of corporate social responsibility." However, thanks to public protests the PM had to enter and exit Barrick's offices through the backdoor under high security.

In the province of Carabya, Puno, in the Southeast of Perú, over a hundred sites of ancient petroglyphs and rock art of high historical and artistic value are in imminent danger of being destroyed by mining activities. Local communities in Colombia have also expressed concern over prospecting for coal in an environmentally fragile area

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