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Residents and Environmentalists Oppose Open-Pit Mining Project in Dolores Hidalgo

By Liz Mestres

The Canadian company Argonaut Gold is planning to begin operations in the Cerro del Gallo mining project, which would exploit 20,270 hectares of land in the southern region of the Dolores Hidalgo municipality. On July 8, the environmental organization Acción Colectiva, la Hermandad de la Cuenca de Independencia and la Red Méxicana de Afectados por la Minería called a press conference to warn that the processes to be used there—open-pit and heap leaching—would further contaminate the Independencia watershed that supplies the municipalities of Dolores Hidalgo, San Miguel de Allende, San Luis de la Paz, San José Turbide, San Felipe, San Diego de la Unión, and Doctor Mora. They called upon the local city council to declare Dolores Hidalgo a mining-free municipality.

Javier Senties and Gustavo Lozano of Acción Colectiva explained that an open-pit mine “produces heavy metal dust, sodium cyanide, residues, and acid drainage, which causes skin diseases, eye diseases, miscarriages, genetic deformities and kidney problems.

Despite the existing water shortage, the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) has granted concessions to Argonaut Gold to extract more than one million cubic meters a year, Lozano said.

The production of just one gold ring requires the removal of eight tons of soil, contamination with sodium cyanide, and the use of over 1,000 gallons of water.

Salvador García Torres, a representative from the village of La Colmena, noted that Argonaut Gold’s staff is meeting with residents to try to convince them of the supposed benefits of the project, but “we do not want the mine,” he said. “That is clear.”

According to the Agenda Ambiental 2018, developed by a special seminar at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), “The contributions of mining to local development are nonexistent. For every thousand dollars acquired by mining corporations, affected communities received, through their state and municipal governments, 15 cents.”

The Coalición en Defensa de la Cuenca de la Independencia (COCECIN), and Colectivo Guardianes de la Cuenca have called for a “No to Toxic Mining,” march on Sunday, July 21. at 9:30am. Marchers will proceed from Parque Almeda in Dolores Hidalgo to mark the annual Global Day of Action Against Open-Pit Mining. The global event was first declared by international NGOs in 2009 to raise awareness of the devastating social and environmental impacts posed by open-pit mining. The day is also meant to gain international support for resistance movements such as the prolonged struggle against the San Xavier mine in San Luis Potosi.To join a caravan departing to the march from San Miguel, meet at the Fábrica Aurora at 8:30am.

Latin America is slowly winning the fight against the transnational mining companies. In a victory of “water over gold,” El Salvador made history in March 2017 when it became the first country in the world to ban metal mining outright.

 

Community March in Defense of Our Territory

“No to Toxic Mining”

Sun, Jul 21, 9:30am

Parque Almeda to the Municipal Jardin in Dolores Hidalgo

(To join a caravan from San Miguel de Allende,

meet at the Fábrica Aurora parking lot at 8:30am)

 

Marcha en defensa de nuestro territorio

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