Opposition Dislodged at the Mine in San José del Progresso, Ocotlán, Oaxaca

Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. May 6, 2009.
11:00 hours of the day

Today, at approximately 7:00 o’clock A.M. the State Police of Oaxaca and the Federal Preventive Police organized an operation to dislodge the compañeros and compañeras of the community of San José del Progreso and other communities where the population opposes the despoilment and contamination which the mines of Fortuna Silver Inc and Continuum Resources Ltd, and the subsidiary company using the Mexican name CIA. MINERA CUZCATLAN, S.A. DE C.V., are carrying out on their lands.

According to information from compañeros at the place, approximately 1500 police tore down the encampment which demands the definite suspension of the mine work . Twelve compañeros were detained (we don’t know their names [àt this point their names have been published]), four compañeros have arrest orders against them, five communities are surrounded by police at this moment.

In spite of the repression, the compañeros continue reorganizing and have said that they will return to install a blockade at the mining works. At this moment some activities in solidarity and aid are known, persons in the movement in the city ont ue to go out there. At three in the afternoon a mobilization was planned from Ocotlàn to the city of Oaxaca and at five in the afternoon a concentration of people at the Attorney General’s office (Procuraduría de Justicia de Oaxaca). Residents of nearby communities are seen blocking a highway in rejection of the repression by the government of the state.

We call on everyone to be watching this situation and to assist in aiding these compañeros of the community of San Josè del Progreso, Ocotlàn. In its second national forum “For life we defend mother earth from the mining companies which poison and destroy nature” Date, place and hours: Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of May, 2009, en the municipal esplanaden of Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca, starting at 10.00 AM.

¡Enough of despoilment and Repression!
¡No to the Mine of San José Del Progreso!
We live without gold and without silver but without land, no!
In Defense of Our Lands and Natural Resources!

Voces Oaxaqueñas Construyendo Autonomìa y Libertad

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We Convoke the
2º national forum
For life
Let us defend mother earth from the mining enterprises which poison and destroy nature

Introduction

In Oaxaca, 29 minIng mega-projects are being initiated by multinational companies,mostly Canadian and United States. Some of these are CUZCATLAN S. A. de C.V., subsidiary of FORTUNA SILVER; AURA SILVER; INTREPID MINES; CONTINUUM RESOURCES LTD; AURA SILVER RESOUCES; CHESAPEAKE GOLD CORP; CONSOLIDATED SPIRE VENTURES LTD; ALMADEM MINERALS LTD; GOLDCORP INC.; GOLD RESOURCE CORP; HORSESHOE GOLD MINING LTD; INTERNATIONAL NORTHAIR MINES LTD; INTREPID MINERALS LTD; LINEAR GOLD CORP; LINEAR METALS CORP; MAURICIO HOCHSCHILD; MERCANTILE GOLD CO; PINNACLE MINES LTD.

In 2009, lCUZCATLAN carries out construction of the mine “LA TRINIDAD”, in San José del Pogreso, the first of more than 16 which will be constructed along the length and breadth of the valley of Ocotlán-Ejutla.

With a great quantity of explosives, they excavate access tunnels in the mineral zone, provoking the cracking of houses and contamination with lead, affecting at this moment San José del Progreso and Magdalena Ocotlán. The 24th of March the company OVIEDO the SEDENA took out more than 30 tons of explosives which were located in San José del Progreso.

In this same year, the company re-activated more than 50 mines which they already worked for 15 and 20 years in the valley, like “LA COLMENA” in San Jerónimo Taviche, which presently produces large quantities of acid drainage, causing infirmities in the eyes, the respiratory functions and the skin. In the region, deaths of more than twenty head of beef have been registered in the last three months, Analysis has determined poisoning by lead, mercury, arsenic, cyanide, as the studies of SANICA, confirmed, in a laboratory of clinical analysis.

Ecological groups affirm that between 2010 to 2025, Oaxaca will be changed into a zone of environmental catastrophe, since the mine company CUZCATLÁN will carry out work of exploiting gold and silver from the mine “Trinidad” and the “COL MENA”, across the whole valley of Ocotlán and Ejutla, with a strong negative impact on the environment and the community life of the entire region of the valleys.

The promises between CUZCATLÁN, the municipal president Venancio Oscar Martinez Rivera and the town councilor Quintín Vásquez Rosario of San José del Progreso, remain as proof . March 14 the peoples of the municipality asked them to head the struggle for the departure of the company from the municipality and they roundly refused.

Facing the obstinacy of the authorities on March 14, the community assembly determined to reject the municipal president, and on the basis of constitutional article 39 they named the council of Municipal Government in San José del Progreso, for the conduct of the struggle against the mine; for which on March 16 a march was carried out to the construction area of the mine “LA TRINIDAD” with the goal of effecting definite closure of all the operations related to the construction of the mine, leaving sealed the installations. The notary public no. 97 of Oaxaca provided legal observation, as well as the rest of the peoples and organizations which make up the coordinating committee in defense of the natural resources of our mother earth, named the 31st of January of 2009 at the first FORO POR LA VIDA, DEFENDAMOS A NUESTRA MADRE TIERRA.

The reply of the criminal government of Ulises Ruiz, in complicity with the mining company CUZCATLÄN, the municipal president Venancio Oscar Martínez Rivera and the municipal inspector Quintín Vásquez Rosario, has been a rabid campaign of threats, hostility and aggression against the movement.

March 21, while a meeting of the peoples in the esplanade of San José del Progreso was in process, the disavowed PRI municipal president Venancio Oscar Martínez Rivera, confronted and threatened compañeros María Del Carmen López Almazan, Agustín Ríos and Ernesto López, members of CODEP and the coordinator. They have also threatened compañeros Apolinar García Vásquez, and Hilario Vásquez Gómez.

March 24 they tried to kidnap compañero Agustín Ríos Cruz at 8 :00 in the morning. Men dressed as civilians arrived at the encampment at the mine. They broke in with pistols and large weapons. When they were asked to show an order for arrest they said, “we don’t need a fucking paper, these are orders from the governor”

On March 25 they tried to kidnap compañero José David Hernández Álvarez, when, at 8.30 in the morning he went to leave his children at the primary school “General Vicente González”. The aggressors did not succeed with their plan thanks to the intervention of teachers and parents of families which defended him (Hernandez Alvarez).

Between March 25 and the beginning of April the compañeros: Agustín Ríos Cruz and José David Hernández were notified of arrest orders against them under the legal proceedings of 19/2009. April 9 they were notified of a previous order 16 (0. m)/2009 against compañeros Apolinar García Vásquez and Hilario Vásquez Gómez and another more on 85(1)/2009, which newly includes Agustín Ríos Cruz.

The PRI government of the assassin Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, has tried by all means to divide the movement of resistance of San José del Progreso, utilizing federal programs like “Opportunities”, “firm floor”, “70 and above”, and others by means of the local PRI deputy Eva Diego Cruz,. But he has found the people each day more conscious that the establishment of the mines represents the destruction of the life and environment en the region.

We know that the struggle we have undertaken is not only against the criminal who governs us, but also against the grand interests of the multinational corporations who keep on its knees the previous government of Calderón.

We know that the case of San José del Progreso is not the only case of resistance against the businesses destructive of the environment in Oaxaca and the country, but each is resisting separately or in small regional groups.

We have understood that we cannot limit the advance of the great foreign interests without achieving state-wide , national and international unity.. All of us peoples are defending our mother earth and the environment , exchanging our experiences in resistance and achieving coordination of our struggle, not only in each state, but in the country and the world. For which we summon

2º FORO NACIONAL
SÁTURDAY 16 AND SUNDAY 17 DE MAY
¡ FOR LIFE, LET US DEFEND OUR MOTHER EARTH!

OBJECTIVES
1. To denounce the aggression that has been loosed against the peoples and resistance of the valley of Ocotlán.

2. To know the experiences of struggle of other peoples int he state and the country n defense of the environment

3. To establish means of coordination for the different struggles in defense of the environment at the state national and international levels

4. To elaborate a work and action plan for resistance at the three levels indicated.

Date, place and time: Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of May, 2009, in the municipal esplanade of Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca, starting at 10.00 AM.

AGENDA OF THE WORK

1. Words of welcome and opening of the forum

2. Presentation of testimonies.

3. Means of state and national organization and coordination.

4. Plan for state, national and international resistance

5. Closing

6. Visit and political act and the mine of San José del Progreso

ATTENDEES
Able to participate are social, human rights, ecological organizations; intellectuals , artists and all persons interested in the defense of the environment .

NOTE
Food will be provided . Attendees should bring camp tents and or blankets.

TO CONFIRM ATTENDANCE:
For a better logistical organization the participants should communicate to the following emails and telephones
[email protected] Telefono: 95 11 34 59 25

[email protected] teléfonos: 55 34 04 92 50 y 55 34 04 92 52

COUNCIL OF POPULAR MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF SAN JOSÉ DEL PROGRESO, OAXACA; COORDINATOR IN DEFENSE OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND OUR MOTHER EARTH, CODEP; NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION; ASAMBLEA POPULAR DE LOS PUEBLOS DE MÉXICO, WORLD SOCIAL FORUM.
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Consequences of open air mining.

Mining in the open air or in tunnels utilizes poisonous substances and a method which destroys and the depletes the ecosystems of the planet, damages health of persons’, agruiculture and animals, causing multiple political and social problems.

Damage to the environment

* Destruction of the forest, the land and the landscape: by the use of dynamite to open large craters in the soil, cultivatable lands and woods disappear, and thus the habitat of the wild animals.

* Consumption of huge quantities of water: a small mine uses 250,000 liters of water per hour, leaving the communities without this vital liquid.

* Contamination of the water, the soil and the air, with chemicals: the mine generates an acid drainage composed of toxic substances which leave the mine for years after it stops functioning, poisoning everything in its path.

Social Consequences

* Risk of poisoning persons and animals.

* Illnesses caused by the chemical substances tot he workers and the inhabitants of the nearby towns.

* Risk of accidents inside and outside the mine by the explosions and the transport of dangerous substances

* Overflow of dams of the mines which can contaminate all the sources of surface and subterranean water in the region.

* Destruction of homes from the explosions.

* Relocation of communities and people

* The mine offers bad pay, risk and it is only for a few

Political Consequences

* The bribing of municipal presidents and ejido and communal representatives so that the mines can be opened.

* Deceit in the communities with supposed development projects, crumbs given out by the companies.

* Violation of the laws

* Division of communities, since on one side stay those who are deceived and the other those who defend their resources and rights.

* Threat and aggression against those who struggle to defend their lands and their rights

* Destruction of the culture and fabric of the community.

After a mining company leaves, the communities remain in worse environmental, economic and social condition.

With the mine there is no development, only destruction and death. The communities have the right to inform themselves about the mining projects and their consequences.

The land of San José del Progreso we did not inherit from our parents, we took it on loan, for our children.

¡¡Mining does not help the people!!!
¡¡¡ For life, we defend our mother earth!!!
We live without gold and silver but not without land!

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