PBI-Mexico accompanied ASMAC and CONTEC sign letter on socio-environmental conflict that notes Canadian mining company

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On June 24 PBI-Mexico tweeted:

“PBI observes. The @cedehm [the Center for Human Rights of Women] and CSOs [civil society organizations] of the state of #Chihuahua urgently urge the authorities to deal comprehensively and definitively with the socio-environmental conflicts in the municipality of Buenaventura, Chihuahua. Read the statement.”

The statement – signed by PBI-Mexico accompanied organizations Community Technical Consulting A.C. (CONTEC) and the Sierra Madre Alliance A.C. (ASMAC) – highlights:

“The undersigned organizations, we call for the government of the Republic and the government of the state of Chihuahua to urgently address in a comprehensive and definitive way the environmental conflicts that for years have been denounced by inhabitants of the ejidos Benito Juárez and Constitución both of the municipality of Buenaventura.

In recent days, the risk of a serious social conflict has potentially increased, based on the issuance of arrest warrants requested by the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Chihuahua against peasants who remain in defense of their natural resources.

The ejidos of Benito Juárez and Constitución have bravely resisted in the defense of their resources; the first before a Canadian mining company with an open-pit exploitation project and the second before the indiscriminate and illegal exploitation of water by producers without permission and with privileges.

The defense has had invaluable costs for the peasants, such as the murder of Ismael Solorio and Manuela Solís* in 2012 and Alberto Almeida in 2013; as well as threats and aggressions that have resulted in precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Despite this, the state of Chihuahua insists on the persecution of defenders.

On May 18, in the Senate of the Republic, a point of agreement was proposed, by which the Permanent Commission of the Congress of the Union, urges the installation of a working table to address the problems raised. In the same sense, on May 31, in the Congress of the State of Chihuahua, a position was presented regarding the urgency and attention that this situation requires.

Therefore, the organizations that we subscribe to urge the federal and state authorities to resolve the situation raised as a social conflict, which derives mainly from the omission of the authorities responsible for the protection of the environment, this despite the multiple complaints that have been filed.”

The statement can be read in full here.

*In October 2012, MiningWatch Canada posted: “Both Ismael and Manuela were members of Barzón National, a smallholders farmers’ movement, and the Mexican Network of Mining-Affected Communities (REMA). …In addition to being key activists opposed to the installation of a mine, they had also been denouncing the drilling of illegal wells in the Carmen river basin. [The] El Cascabel [mining company] is a closely related entity to Vancouver-based mining company MAG Silver and a central player in the development of MAG Silver’s 100% owned Cinco de Mayo mine project. Many members of El Barzon and other movements in the municipality opposed the mine, given concerns about the heavy use of groundwater in this arid region.”

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