7. Mining and communities
Mining has grown exponentially in Latin America in the last three decades. Massive new mining projects have had major socioenvironmental effects, including pollution, appropriation and contamination of water supplies, division and co-optation of communities, and in some cases their forced relocation.
Communities are learning how to resist and some have successfully challenged government and company claims that large-scale mining projects can be safe, sustainable, and socially beneficial.
News related to this chapter
Tom Gatehouse is a writer and translator who has lived in Argentina, Spain and Brazil. He holds an MPhil in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge.
He has written for LAB and Red Pepper and his translations have appeared in Folha de S. Paulo, Agência Pública and Tales and Trails Lisbon, a recent collection of short stories and other writings. He lives in London.
Lucio Cuenca (OLCA): interviewed in London on 23 May 2017 by Tom Gatehouse. Transcribed by Tom Gatehouse and translated by Chris Whitehouse.
Marcelo Giraud (Asamblea Popular por el Agua): interviewed in Mendoza, Argentina, on 17 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Hebe Powell.
Esther González and Alfredo Gallardo (CDPC): interviewed in Caimanes, Chile, on 24 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Francis McDonagh.
Angelo Herrera (Hotel manager): interviewed in Caimanes, Chile, on 25 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by María Boniface and Mike Gatehouse.
Carina Jofré (CONICET San Juan): interviewed in San Juan, Argentina, on 17 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Tom Gatehouse.
Camila Méndez (COSAJUCA): interviewed in London on 30 November 2017 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Mike Gatehouse.
Rodrigo Péret (Churches and Mining Network) and Thiago Alves da Silva (MAB): interviewed in London on 19 October 2017 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Tom Gatehouse.
Oscar Roca (CAEP): interviewed in Huanuni, Bolivia, on 30 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Transcribed by Alan Williams and translated by Rachel Toogood.
Constanza San Juan and Stefanía Vega (CTDG): interviewed in Santiago de Chile on 26 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Matty Rose.
Rogelio Ustate (Tabaco community): interviewed in Hatonuevo, La Guajira, Colombia, on 7 January 2017 by Emma Banks. Transcribed by Elizabeth Pillares and translated by James Scorer.
Lucrecia Wagner (CONICET Mendoza): interviewed in Mendoza, Argentina, on 16 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Tom Gatehouse.
NB: All web references were checked and still available in May/June 2018 unless otherwise stated.
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Lucrecia Wagner/Marcelo Giraud/Mendoza
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Carina Jofré/San Juan/Jáchal
He, L. (2017) ‘Veladero: history repeats itself’, Equal Times
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The Bento Rodrigues Disaster/Mariana
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Caimanes/Minera Los Pelambres
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Maeve, A. and Barrington-Bush, L. (2017) ‘For how long will the London Stock Exchange give Antofagasta mine a free pass?’, The Ecologist
Camila Méndez/Cajamarca/La Colosa
Ebus, B. (2017) ‘Villagers vote to ban ‘La Colosa’ gold mining project in Colombia’, Mongabay
Garavito, S., Ordoñez, S. and Rhoades, H. (2017) ‘Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry’, Red Pepper
Novara Reporters (2018) ‘How a Tiny Colombian Village Beat the World’s Third Largest Gold Mining Company’, Novara Media
Rogelio Ustate/Tabaco community/El Cerrejón
Brogeland Laache, F. (2016) ‘Life by Latin America’s largest open-pit coal mine’, Al Jazeera
Jasiewicz, E. (2014) ‘In Colombia, two worlds collide’, New Humanist
Solly, R. (2014) ‘Stop forced displacements by Cerrejon Coal in Colombia!’, The Ecologist
Lakhani, N. (2017) ‘El Salvador makes history as first nation to impose blanket ban on metal mining’, The Guardian
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McKinley, A. (2018) ‘El Salvador: first anniversary of the mining ban’, Latin America Bureau
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Fernandes, D. (2018) ‘A US corporation wants to raze a gold-rich mountain in Peru. Meet the woman who stands in its way.’, GlobalPost Investigations
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Wilson, S. (2002) ‘A Life Worth More Than Gold’, The Washington Post