We, the undersigned organizations, are deeply concerned about reports emerging from Chubut, Argentina, a province in the beautiful Patagonia region, about the increased presence of the mining lobby in the provincial legislature pressuring deputies to amend Environmental Law XVII-Nº 68 (former Law 5001), which bans open-pit metal mining and the use of cyanide.
Chubut was the first province in Argentina to pass this kind of environmental standard in 2003. The law has been supported by 17 years of widespread mobilization across the province by communities who are opting for a more ecological form of development that doesn’t include large-scale mining.
Canadian mining companies Pan American Silver (Navidad Project) and Yamana Gold (Sujai Project) have concessions in the province, and Indigenous communities, local organizations, and even provincial deputies have condemned these same companies for pressuring for amendments to Law XVII-Nº 68.
Following recent elections, newly elected legislative representatives will soon take office and strong rumours are circulating that the law will be amended at the last minute, before the new deputies take their seats, to establish a “mining zone” in the “meseta” of the province (representing 70% of the territory) without any kind of consultation. There are only two days left for the legislature’s sessions; the Chubut popular assemblies are now on alert and have been closely observing the sessions to ensure the law is not modified. That being said, there is a real concern that despite popular consensus, the changes will be made to allow mining to go ahead.
We repudiate any pressure being exerted by multinational mining companies to influence the legislators’ decisions. Laws must be respected, whether a company likes them or not.
We echo our comrades in Argentina and say firmly to the multinational mining companies who will benefit from the modification of the law, WE ARE WATCHING YOU (#LosEstamosObservando). The people of Chubut have already – clearly and repeatedly – said “NO” to industrial mining in their province.
We stand in solidarity with the Chubut Assemblies, Indigenous communities and organizations who have been peacefully resisting the imposition of industrial mining in their territory for more than 17 years.
We stand in solidarity with those defenders detained by police during the session late on December 5th, and demand their immediate release.
- AID/WATCH (Australia)
- Area Estado Ciudadania y Justicia Ambiental, IIFAP-FCS-Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina)
- Asamblea de vecinos Gaiman en defensa del Medioambiente (Argentina)
- Asamblea Socio Ambiental de Cipolletti, Río Negro (Argentina)
- Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
- CATAPA (Belgium)
- Care for Colombian Leaders
- Centre de recherche sur l'environnement, la Démocratie et les Droits de L'homme [CREDDHO] (DRC)
- Centro Legal de la Raza (US)
- Coal Action Network (UK)
- Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine [CDHAL] (Canada)
- Common Frontiers (Canada)
- Cooperaccion (Peru)
- Defensa y Conservación Ecológica de Intag [DECOIN] (Ecuador)
- Denver Justice and Peace Committee (US)
- Earthworks (US)
- Environmental Law Group (University of British Columbia, Canada)
- Estonian Forest Aid (Estonia)
- Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales [FARN] (Argentina)
- Friends of the Earth Canada
- The Gaia Foundation
- GeoComunes (México)
- Igapo Project
- Institute for Policy Studies - Global Economy Program (US)
- London Mining Network (UK)
- Manushya Foundation (Thailand)
- Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network [BTS] (Canada)
- MiningWatch Canada
- Mining Injustice Solidarity Network [MISN] (Canada)
- Mining Justice Alliance (Canada)
- Mining Justice Action Committee - Victoria (Canada)
- Mining Justice UBC (Canada)
- Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo extractivo Minero [M4]
- Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala [NISGUA] (US)
- National Union of Public and General Employees [NUPGE] (Canada)
- Otros Mundos AC (Chiapas, México)
- Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (US)
- Rainforest Action Group (Australia)
- Snowchange Cooperative (Finland)
- Students for Mining Justice (Canada)
- TradeJustice PEI (Canada)
- WoMin African Alliance
Seethe original form here.