MONTREAL – In a press conference held in Mexico City on November 10th, Mauricio Limón, Undersecretary for Environmental Protection at the Mexican ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), declared that the ministry would enforce a recent superior court ruling and withdraw New Gold’s (TSX:NGD) environmental impact permit between now and Friday, November 13th. The company, he declared, would at that point have to cease operations at its Cerro de San Pedro project. The Undersecretary’s statements were reported in the November 11th edition of La Jornada, one of Mexico’s leading national newspapers.
On September 24th, the Federal Fiscal and Administrative Justice Tribunal of Mexico ruled that the SEMARNAT must revoke the permit granted to the company back in April 2006. The tribunal gave the ministry until the 13th of November to apply the ruling.
In response, a bi-national declaration was signed this week by Canadian Parliamentarians and members of the Mexican congress urging the relevant Mexican authorities to enforce the tribunal’s decision. It was signed by Gilles Duceppe, Pierre Paquette, Francine Lalonde and Johanne Deschamps for the Bloc Québecois; Jack Layton, Peter Julian and Paul Dewar for the New Democratic Party; Elizabeth May for the Green Party; Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez for the seventy members of the Partido de la Revolución Democratica; and Pedro Vásquez González for the thirteen members of the Partido del Trabajo.
The declaration notes the severe and in many cases irremediable damages that New Gold’s project has wrought to the valley of San Luis Potosí — inhabited by approximately 1.3 million people — since it began operations in 2006. It supports the ruling of the Mexican tribunals in putting an end to this project, calls upon the relevant Mexican authorities to enforce this ruling and demands that New Gold-Minera San Xavier respect the laws of Mexico.
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