Mexico: Indigenous communities allege Fortuna Silver Mine responsible for increased violence and contaminating water sources; includes co. comments

Author: Educa Oaxaca at Intercontinental Cry, Published on: 22 October 2018

“Waste overflows at Canadian mine in Mexico, threatening dozens of communities” October 16, 2018

Heavy rains caused the overflow of a tailings dam operated by Canadian company Fortuna Silver Mines in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca on Sunday, October 7, contaminating the Coyote Creek and threatening the primary source of water for farming communities in the Central Valleys region…Residents’ demands went beyond the assessment of damages and the adoption of mitigating measures, calling for the closure of the San José mine and a moratorium on the exploitation of mineral resources in Oaxaca: “We demand that the Federal Government not issue any more mining concessions, because these imply environmental impacts and irreparable risks for the population,” residents declared in an statement…In January, as opponents of the mine gathered for a protest in defense of their water resources, a municipal police officer fired into the crowd, killing local resident Bernardo Méndez Vásquez. In March, gunmen opened fire on members of the environmental and human rights group the Coalition of United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (CPUVO) as they traveled home from the Oaxaca airport, killing Indigenous Zapotec land defender Bernardo Vasquez Sánchez.

It was not until Thursday that Fortuna Silver Mines issued a statement informing that high rainfall had caused a contingency pond to overflow at the dry stack tailings facility at the San José mine. Yet the company emphasized that this is a cyanide-free operation and that “no industrial process water was discharged in this incident.”

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Related companies: Fortuna Silver Mines Minera Cuzcatlan (part of Fortuna Silver)