MAC/20: Mines and Communities

LETTER TO governor José Luis Gioja

Published by MAC on 2004-10-10

LETTER TO governor José Luis Gioja

Jáchal, San Juan

October 10th, 2004

At the First Congress in Defense of Natural Resources, held in Jáchal department, the assembly decided to inform you of its main conclusion: We do not want open-cast mining which uses cyanide and other toxic substances.

We are fully against it:

Because we are convinced that mining exploitation in Veladero and Pascua-Lama, represents a concrete, real and present danger to our health and that of our descendants;

Because it has already affected the amount of water, which is a vital element for man and the ecosystem;

Because it is within the boundaries of San Guillermo Biosphere Reserve, a unique, very fragile, ecosystem in the world. This is the reason we must take care of it and avoid any kind of aggressive action against it';

Because the high percentage of chemicals that will be detected in our produce will decrease our opportunities in any potential market;

Because the social effect of mining exploitation will be a massive exodus of our people;

Because we have the legitimate right to autonomy, given us by being authentic and constitutional owners of the land;

Because the land belongs to those who inhabit and work it and not only to those who govern us.

Because the people voted for you and your duty is to work for your people;

Therefore, you are obliged to consult them, listen to them and respect them.

Because there is no better place to live in, than the place where one was born, brought up and where one will continue living, so long as you cooperate in making this possible.

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