MAC/20: Mines and Communities

To access a Spanish translation of this article, please click on the following

Published by MAC on 2005-05-29


To access a Spanish translation of this article, please click on the following link...

Río Negro Regional Assembly Declaration Against Gold Mining Utilizing Cyanide

Bariloche, Province of Rio Negro, Argentina

28-29 May, 2005

We, the self-organized community groups and organizations of Rio Negro, Chubut and Neuquen have come together again to assemble, this time in San Carlos de Bariloche, to analyze the situation with respect to the mining of gold utilizing cyanide: We must inform the public that the situation is alarming.

Partipants Negro Rio at conferenceUnder the cover of illegitimate laws and a politically complicit state, the mining industry continues in its plans to take away precious metals and leave us with drought and contamination. Their plans threaten the economy, social life and the natural environment of the region.

This is plunder through new technologies, the same old colonial plunder but with a new face. The looting will continue if we do not grow in organization.

Along with the avalance of prospecting licenses (206 in Chubut, 56 in Rio Negro), pressures of all types are multiplying: threats, bribery and extortion of individuals, institutions, municipalities and the press, almost always carried out under the guise of handing out sums of money.

They also want to meddle, to intervene, in our educational system. A consultant working for mining companies is offering Rio Negro funds for the training of students of public schools.

This is why we are united in a spirit of participative action, joining forces and adding to our neighbors in various locations, such as Manquinchao, who this week are making legislation to protect themselves from the attack.

We reject the Environmental Impact Reports made by the companies, because these reports address only their own interests, without taking into account the high complexity and multifold consequences of mining activity. These are studies that endeavour to "reduce" damages: We do not want ANY damages, neither small nor large. We demand that they leave, just as they have left their own countries -- which they are no longer permitted to contaminate.

This assembly depends on and is supported by the participation of self-organized community groups and organizations of Bariloche, Esquel, Puerto Madryn, Ingeniero Jacobacci, Maquinchao, Neuquen, Patagones, General Roca, Viedma, El Bolson, and Lago Puelo, student groups, indigenous organizations, workers of Fasinpat (formerly Zanon), sectors of the church, political parties, ecological groups, ranchers, unions and the press. We resolve to continue disseminating information and raising consciousness, through which will emerge a great movement of the people of Patagonia in resistance to this type of mining. We also strive to advance in unifying our forces in different sectors who fight for a better world, a world for all, we will not be exploited by the same old powers.

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