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Mexico's Indigenous against corporations: We will stay until the Last

In the Mexican state of Oaxaca precious soil lie hidden treasures. By now, the large corporations have discovered. Yet the inhabitants resist and pay sometimes with their lives.

Christina Fairy Moebus, ARD-Studio, Mexico

a Lot of people in Mexico's state of Oaxaca living in poverty, there are in the southern state to pick up a number of riches: silver, copper and Gold lie under the earth. So it's no wonder that big companies want to mine the raw materials. Often, this happens without the consent of the indigenous population. The environmental and social impacts of mining are fatal.

In the municipality of Santa María Zapotitlán work the majority of the more than 1000 indigenous people in agriculture. You to build, among other things, Corn, beans, and Zucchini. They live largely self-sufficient.

residents of Santa Maria Zapotitlan with your attorney: you have to fight back against the exploitation of the Region.

"We going to do with the nature of any transactions"

For generations, the families living there. The Cirino Martinez. He is working as a regional Council for the protection of the municipality's area responsible: "In this field, we manufacture every day bread for our families," he says. "We going to do with the nature of any transactions. We feed our families."

Great company but a very different value in this area: Deep in the mountains of precious soil are buried treasures. Silver, and of brass, for example. The company Zalamera has 2011 a concession for an area of 5400 hectares around the municipal grant. Her specialty is The exploration of potential mining areas for large international mining companies.

"Nobody has informed us," says Martinez. "No one has asked for our consent." Not a single government representative stated that the matter or a signature requested so that you can search for minerals.

but This contradicts the right to territorial self-determination for indigenous peoples, as a Declaration of the United Nations.

The mining Plage

For many indigenous communities, the mining industry is like a plague. More than 25,000 concessions awarded by the Mexican authorities throughout the country. Almost always over the heads of the inhabitants.

What are the dramatic consequences this can have for the population, is shown by the example of the municipality of San José del Progreso, also in the state of Oaxaca.

progress is progress. The first came in 2006 in the Form of canadian gold mining Corporation Fortuna Silver. With him, the dirty rivers, and explosions that bring the homes to the quake and bloody conflicts came but also.

Rosalia Dionisio was shot. "The fear will remain forever," she says.

assassinated

In dispute between supporters and opponents of the mines, there were two Dead. Human rights groups complain that many of the residents had been lubricated by the authorities and companies to make the mega-project possible.

Rosalia Dionisio was the victim of an assassination attempt. She's been shot. She is against the mining. For the young woman has changed the life in the village: "The fear will remain forever," she says. "The persecution and assassination not to mention, we are harassed, even now."

Some would have to leave the village now, says Dionisio. From a safe life in the country many people end up in poverty.

concessions

The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is aware of the Problem. Upon taking office in December 2018, he had announced to want to escape causes in the South of the country to fight. His idea: no more new licenses. The old decisions of his predecessors, he maintains: "We will respect these concessions," says Obrador. "There is no fear, no fear."

the fear of the investors. Because Mexico is a Paradise: The country is regarded as the world's export champion for silver and ore. Germany with a volume of almost 49 million U.S. dollars, is one of the largest buyers.

The inhabitants of Santa María Zapotitlán fight back, they regularly organize information events, provide a guard to go home, tie advanced explorations. And you have got legal assistance.

No further research

The outcome: The municipality has obtained a court, that for the time being, no further research can take place. However, the economy has sued the Ministry. The process could be to set a precedent should be given to the people from Zapotitlán, in the end right.

regional Council, Martinez will not give up: "We will not leave our village. We are here to stay. Up to the Last."

he and his colleagues need to take a long breath. The concession around his home at the time, had originally been awarded for several decades - until the year 2051.

Mexico: how mining companies in indigenous communities displace
Christina Fairy Moebus, ARD Mexico
25.04.2019 11:50 PM

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"crimes against the Amazon forest", 26.08.2017 mining plans for the time being stopped, 31.08.2017 such As corporations, Indigenous displace, C. Moebus, ARD-Mexico |audio Atlas |Mexico |Oaxaca

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