TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR
[Translation] From the Sierra Norte de Puebla the Union of Ejidos and Communities in Defense of Land, Water and Life Atcolhua and all the organizations that make up the Tiyat Tlali Council express our reprobation to the statements made by President López Obrador on Canadian mining last January 18 in his morning conference.1
The affirmation of the President of the Republic is unacceptable and totally false when he says that "the majority of Canadian mining companies are helping us so that the territory is not destroyed and that the environment is taken care of;" we consider that this assertion is an offense to all the peoples who have experienced serious situations of damage to our territories and aggression against our health and security.
An example of this is what happened in Ixtacamaxtitlán, Puebla, where the exploration activity of Almaden Minerals' Minera Gorrión generated violations of our human rights, which we have documented.2 The case of Equinox Gold mining company, which criminalized the owners of the land where its project is located when the ejidatarios protested against the non-compliance of the agreement with the Ejido of Carrizalillo in Guerrero. Pan American Silver, which led to the forced displacement of the community of La Colorada in Zacatecas in order to expand its operations. The Great Panther mining company that contaminated the water of the La Soledad and La Esperanza dams in Guanajuato. The serious contamination of water bodies in Cocula, Guerrero, due to arsenic spills from the Media Luna company, a subsidiary of Torex Gold, refusing to respect the most basic labor rights. The Dolores Gold Mine of Minefinders in the Huizopa ejido, in Chihuahua, where several protests were held for extending its operation to land without respecting agreements with the ejidatarios. It is also reprehensible that the Canadian government failed to prevent the murder of the human rights defender Mariano Abarca in Chicomuselo, Chiapas, which was recognized by the Canadian federal judge, Keith Boswell, who stated that "perhaps he would not have been murdered" if the Canadian embassy in Mexico "had acted differently."
To say that "the majority of Canadian mining companies are helping us not to destroy the territory, to take care of the environment," makes it clear that the federal government's position puts economic growth and profit before caring for life.
It is clear to us that their lack of interest in modifying the current mining law, which favors corporate interests over those of the people, leaves the door open for mining companies to continue committing human rights violations and generating environmental devastation in our country. This situation maintains the risk of aggression against all those of us who are willing to continue defending water and territory because our lives depend on it.
As a consequence, the federal government is responsible for the aggression that these companies continue to generate towards defenders of the territory and Mother Earth due to its failure to act to stop the environmental devastation and dispossession of the people of Mexico.
From the reality of the indigenous and peasant peoples we will continue in the struggle that open-pit mining does not go in our communities!
We join the demand for the appearance alive of Professor Antonio Diaz and the lawyer Ricardo Lagunes, human rights defenders.
Almaden Minerals Out of Ixtacamaxtitlán
Stop the dispossession and violence generated by mining companies.
Respect for our right to self-determination and territory.
Consejo Tiyat Tlali
Unión de Ejidos y Comunidades en Defensa de la Tierra, el Agua y la Vida Atcolhua
Consejo Masewal Altepatajpianij
Consejo Regional Totonaco
Unión de Cooperativas Tosepan
Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Rural
Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario
Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos
Maseual Siuamej mosenyolchikauanij
Colectivo Tajtolmej Taltipak.
Makxtum Kgalhaw Chuchutsipi
Organización Independiente Totonaca-Nahua
Servicios Ambientales Amelatzinhualajtok
1 Presidencia República, «Versión estenográfica. Conferencia de prensa del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador del 18 de enero de 2023», gob.mx, accedido 19 de enero de 2023, http://www.gob.mx/presidencia/articulos/version-estenografica-conferenci....
2 MINERÍA CANADIENSE EN PUEBLA Y SU IMPACTO EN LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS. Por la vida y el futuro de Ixtacamaxtitlán y la Cuenca del Río Apulco (2017) https://poderlatam.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/InformeMineriaCanadiense-2017_SNP.pdf