Educa Oaxaca expects decision on Canadian-owned San José mine permit this month

Published by Brent Patterson on

‘No to the San Jose 2 mine’

On our recent webinar, Neftali Reyes of Educa Oaxaca noted that a decision on the San José mine is expected by the end of this month.

Pedro Máximo Aquino, Efrén Jacinto Sánchez, and Rubén Flores, authorities from Magdalena Ocotlán, also spoke on this webinar.

This Educa Oaxaca report on the webinar highlights: “The representatives of the community located just a few meters from the San José mining project, owned by the FSM company, reiterated that ‘the mining company is affecting us a lot’ with water pollution, mine waste, constant noise and the shortage of water.”

The permit for this mine expires this year.

On July 7, 2020, the Compañía Minera Cuzcatlán, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver Mines (FSM), submitted an environmental impact assessment (MIA) for approval by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).

That MIA seeks a 10-year extension for the mine. The San José II mine would reportedly be a 7,000-hectare expansion of the existing 700-hectare mine.

By October 2020, twelve communities held a media conference to highlight that 10 more years of the mine would “generate irreversible contamination.”

Then in December 2020, a blockade was established on Highway 175 in Oaxaca to demand a meeting with SEMARNAT and a rejection of the permit for the mine.

Now, we may be less than two weeks away from a decision by SEMARNAT.

This decision falls on the same month as two anniversaries.

In March 2009, residents set up an encampment outside the newly established mine to protest it being built without free, prior and informed consent. And in March 2012, Bernardo Vásquez, a vocal opponent of the mine, was assassinated.

PBI-Mexico has accompanied Educa Oaxaca since May 2013. PBI-Canada hosted Neftali Reyes and Salvador Martínez Arellanes (an Indigenous leader from Santa Carina Minas) at public meetings about this mine in Ottawa and Toronto in November 2018.

Neftali and Salvador during advocacy tour in Canada, November 2018, and at a media conference demanding a rejection of the mine, July 2020.

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