MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Latin America update - DENUNCIAN DE TRÁFICO DE TIERRAS EN LA ZONA MINERA DE INTAG, ECUADOR

Published by MAC on 2007-07-28


Latin America update - DENUNCIAN DE TRÁFICO DE TIERRAS EN LA ZONA MINERA DE INTAG, ECUADOR

28th July 2007

A study supervised by Mexico's National Forestry Commission reveals that damages caused by Goldcorp´s Luismin to small landowners in Xochipala includes the felling of more than 1,038 trees, 12 kilometers of fencing destroyed, and damage to 72,000 square meters. The ecological impact caused during geological exploration has risen to 3,225,000 pesos, according to the study.

As recently reported on MAC, the world's biggest iron ore miner, Brazil's CVRD, has been supplying its output to pig iron manufactureres who use charcoal in their kilns, and transporting their production through its railway system. Now the company plans to almost double the railway's carrying capacity (it already cuts through several indigenous peoples' territories), but doesn't seem to have a foolproof method of ending illegal pig iron production.

In Ecuador, Ascendant Copper has been ordered to “immediately cease all activities intended to divide the community and disturb the citizenry’s peaceful life” around its proposed Junin Project. The Commission for Civil-Society Control over Corruption has also accused the company of land trafficking. "Land purchases have been made in order to have a conservation area", stated a company official. Amnesty International has launched a "Fear for safety" urgent action appeal on behalf of those opposed to the copper project.

Following a declaration from the recent Inter-ethnic Gathering on Mining, held in Bogota, Colombia, a number of organizations has condemned Colombian Government policy towards mining multinationals - including the country's Mining Code - for giving away respurces to foreign companies and ignoring the wishes of the people who live on the land, espceially Indigenous Peoples and those of African descent.

Citizens of Soná, Panama, have delivered a resounding NO to mining operations in their district. They took to the streets to show their opposition to plans by Canadian company, Oro Gold, to extract minerals in the Quebrada de Oro canyon.

The anounced retreat of Barrick Gold from Peru's Condorwain Range, in Ancash, ia interpreted by local residents as yet another strategy to confuse public opinion. They have threfore decided to organize themselves in a committee of permanent vigilance, to guarantee the defence of over 81 freshwater springs. Also in Peru, three informal gold processing plants have been set up in the "untouchable zone" of the Nasca and Palpa lines, putting the pre-Inca legacy at risk: the protected zone of Nasca is 460 square kilometers and was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1994.

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