Campaign Nets 7,000 Signatures Against Agua Rica ProjectPublished by MAC on 2005-09-03
Saturday September 3, 2005
Authorities, institutions, indigenous communities and residents of Santa María presented a petition to the Provincial Governor of Catamarca, reiterating their rejection of mining activity in their department. "We declare our total and strong opposition of the new mining operations, which have been given license to help themselves indiscriminately to the water resources in our Department, and more precisely in the Calchaquíes Valleys," stated the document presented by Mayors Julio Lagoria and Jesús Albarracín of Santa María and San José, along with both city councils.
"We have a deep-rooted and total rejection of the construction of the tailings dams and reservoirs, rubble piles or processing plants in the Campo del Arenal, and the exploration and exploitation of the Agua Rica mines, which will cause a serious environmental impact upon Santa María and the Calchaquíes Valleys region. We sincerely hope that the Governor understands our reasonable and genuine concern over this issue, for this is about the preservation of the life and health of the inhabitants of this valley, a right guaranteed to us by our own provincial and national Constitution," states the text, received yesterday morning by the Minister of Government Raúl Cippitelli.
The petition, with it's 7,000 signatures collected by the group of independently organized residents, demands as a priority "the use and immediate adoption of all necessary methods at hand, political, administrative and legal, to preserve the water aquifers, declaring them exclusively for human consumption and agriculture, and changing the provincial laws and legislation which oppose this important objective."