PBI-Mexico highlights statement to Canadian government and investors rejecting the Fortuna Silver Mines San José project

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: On December 14, 2020, the No to Mining Front established a highway blockade in opposition to the renewal of an environmental permit for the Canadian-owned San José mine in Oaxaca. A year later, they continue to call for the mine to be closed.

On November 28, PBI-Mexico tweeted: “The No to Mining Front in Central Valleys of #Oaxaca claims its right to self-determination and to decide on the development model in its territory. Read their position on the Fortuna Silvers mine.”

Their position states: “The gross profit of the ‘San José’ project since the beginning of its commercial exploitation (2011) has been 750 million dollars…”

“For the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, there has been community division, threats, murders and aggressions against community defenders, environmental pollution and the alarming decrease in water wells.”

“Far from reducing poverty, the mining project has generated systematic violence in our territories, trying to confront the different groups to favor their interests.”

Additionally, “the mining company contaminated the Coyote River (2018) and Santa Rosa (2020), directly affecting the communities of: Magdalena Ocotlán, Monte del Toro, San Matías Chilazoa and the Noria de Ortiz.”

Their position concludes with this demand “To the Canadian government and investors: respect the determinations of the communities of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, members of the No to Mining Front: Here we say yes to life, No to Mining!, the FSM business has only brought violence, dispossession and pollution to our communities.”

This past July, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) rejected a new environmental permit for the company.

The previously granted environmental permit then expired on October 23.

But on October 25, Fortuna highlighted in this media statement: “[Fortuna’s Mexican subsidiary, Companía Minera Cuzcatlán] … has obtained a provisional injunction from a Mexican federal court that allows the continued operation of the San Jose Mine beyond the expiry date of the EIA [environmental permit].”

The mine’s controversial history

NACLA reports: “In March 2009, a group of residents protested this violation of their rights by setting up an encampment at the entrance to the mine. In May, 1,000 state and federal police—acting at the request of the mining company and its local political allies—evicted protesters using helicopters, tear gas, and dogs.”

The mine began production in September 2011.

El Universal has reported that there has been four deaths and eight people shot in direct relation to the mine between 2010 and 2012.

Webinar earlier this year

On March 11, Peace Brigades International and Amnesty International co-hosted this webinar that featured Neftali Reyes of Educa Oaxaca and representatives from Magdalena Ocotlán discussing the impacts of this mine.

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.”

PBI-Mexico began accompanying Educa Oaxaca in May 2013.

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