Damages and dispossession: Interview with Esperanza Salazar, from M4

by June 28, 2013
 

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Three Nahua-Otomi indigenous communities are facing dispossession from their lands by a consortium of mining companies in Colima, Mexico. Real World Radio (RWR) recently spoke with Esperanza Salazar of The Mesoamerican Movement Against the Extractive Mining Model (M4) about the strategy of the dis-possessors and what exactly is at stake.

Nobody is listening. Neither the Mexican institutions, which are supposed to watch over the rights of indigenous communities whenever their basic rights are in danger, nor the institutions that must prevent environmental damages. Every day, the consortium of miners Peña Colorada extracts 16,000 tons of material for iron production using huge amounts of water in the Mexican state of Colima. In order to increase the production, the consortium is planning to expel three Nahua-Otomi indigenous communities and threatens to bury them under poisonous waste.

Those were Esperanza Salazar’s words in an interview with Radio Mundo Real (ES). Salazar is member of M4, the Mesoamerican Movement against the Mining Extraction Model. She is also participating in the process which directly affects three indigenous communities and involves an Italian-Argentinean-Indian mining company.

The company sits in the border between the Mexican states of Colima and Jalisco, a region of important Nahua presence and that is disputed by both jurisdictions. Peña Colorada is illegally occupying a territory of some 800 hectares, but they call it a “temporary occupation”. The company dumps in the very land the toxic waste produced during extractions.

In the interview, Esperanza Salazar said that recently (November 2012), a dam holding that waste was breached, significantly polluting water springs that the communities use for irrigation, animal and human consumption.

What is at stake here is the life of those communities, whose land is rich in one the most important veins of iron in Mexico. One more time, the corporate strategy is to turn the dispossessed in dispossessors: an accusation has been submitted to the environmental authorities in order to accuse the communities of illegal logging and extraction of precious wood.

In this respect, M4 is promoting an urgent action addressed to President Enrique Peña Nieto, the attorney general office for the protection of the environment and the Mexican commission of human rights, among other official institutions. The objective is to stop the expulsion of the Nahua-Otomi communities through the dumping of toxic waste (as the company threatens) and to claim the protection of their rights.

More than 40 members of these communities have been murdered while defending their land, and others have disappeared, like Celedonio Monroy Prudencio, an indigenous citizen that sued the traffickers of precious wood and the company Peña Colorada.

Please, join the urgent action to stop the consortium of miners Peña Colorada:

Spanish: http://is.gd/MNQ8HK
English: http://is.gd/WjNLWp (automatically translated)

Article originally published at www.RadioMundoReal.fm. Modified and Republished at IC under a Creativee Commons BY-SA 3.0 license

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