PBI-Mexico accompanies EDUCA at Indigenous Guelaguetza festival against mining

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On September 11, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project posted that it had accompanied EDUCA at Oaxaca’s first ever “Guelaguetza” against mining in the municipality San Martín de los Cansecos on June 22.

The Guelaguetza is an annual indigenous cultural event in the city of Oaxaca as well as in nearby villages. It includes traditional costumed dancing.

PBI-Mexico explains, “Various communities from the Valles Centrales in Oaxaca joined together to commemorate the state’s annual ‘Rebellion Against Mining Day’ and to reaffirm ‘¡Sí a la vida, no a la minería!’ (Yes to life, no to mining!).”

“The twist on the traditional Guelaguetza celebration aimed to shed light on the ongoing issues surrounding mining projects in Oaxaca and to demand the cancellation of the 322 mining concessions that exist within the state.”

Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver

PBI-Mexico notes numerous concerns that have been raise with respect to mining.

“Last year a tailings dam that collects mining residues for Canadian mining company Fortuna Silver Mines overflowed on two occasions contaminating the Coyote River and its surrounding tributaries.”

“Not only has the Fortuna Silver mining project in San José del Progreso harmed the environment, but it has also had a seriously damaging social impact which has largely been driven by the lack of transparency from municipal authorities and the company itself.”

“Additionally, those who have spoken out and defended the rights of the communities and their territories against the project have suffered threats, harassment, criminalization and to date the mining conflict has led to four murders in the area.”

To read the full PBI-Mexico article go to “Yes to life, no to mining”.

To read the full declaration from the Guelaguetza Against Mining, click here.

You can also read here about the November 2018 PBI-organized speaking tour in Canada that featured two human rights defenders who shared the concerns being expressed by residents of Santa Catarina Minas, a community in the Central Valleys Region of Oaxaca.

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