MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Latin American Update

Published by MAC on 2006-09-21


Latin American Update

21st September 2006

In the past few weeks community-led direct action has halted two mineral operations in Peru. A blockade of the railway line to Southern Copper Corporation's smelter began last week in protest at the damage caused to peoples' health. The regional president says he is seeking US$400 million from the company for health and agricultural projects; for its part SCC claims it's not transgressing emission standards.

A six-day blockade of Newmont's Yanacocha operations, after the killing in August of a local protestor, has ended. Although an 11-point agreement was signed promising improved water monitoring and quality, long-standing community leader Marco Arana says:"The conflict has not ended, and will never end if the problem continues to be dealt with in a superficial manner."

Mayan families affected by Skye Resources operations in Guatemala have occupied the Candian company's property, demanding land for subsistence farming.

The governor of Argentina's La Rioja province is implicated in signing a secret contract with Yamiri SA, partnered by Barrick Gold at the Famatima project, as well as owning a substantial proportion of the Argentinian company.

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