Monday, February 18, 2019

Mining and communities

Anti-MLP graffiti in Caimanes, Chile: ‘MLP – one of the most privileged copper mining companies in Chile – what safety measures have the inhabitants of Caimanes been notified of? We don’t know the likelihood of a natural disaster, living as we do in an earthquake zone, and with huge global changes taking place. We demand an early warning system that we can trust, covering the whole area. Power to the Comité de Defensa Personal!’ © Tom Gatehouse 2016
Anti-MLP graffiti in Caimanes, Chile: ‘MLP – one of the most privileged copper mining companies in Chile – what safety measures have the inhabitants of Caimanes been notified of? We don’t know the likelihood of a natural disaster, living as we do in an earthquake zone, and with huge global changes taking place. We demand an early warning system that we can trust, covering the whole area. Power to the Comité de Defensa Personal!’ © Tom Gatehouse 2016

Abstract

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.

Index

About the Author

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.

Interviewees

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.

Alfredo Gallardo and Esther González, Chile. © Tom Gatehouse 2016

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, Argentina. © Tom Gatehouse 2016

Carina Jofré (CONICET San Juan): interviewed in San Juan, Argentina, on 17 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Tom Gatehouse.

Camila Méndez. © Tom Gatehouse 2017

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.

References

NB: All web references were checked and still available in May/June 2018 unless otherwise stated.

Bebbington, A. and Bury, J. (2013) ‘Political ecologies of the subsoil’, in A. Bebbington and J. Bury (eds), Subterranean Struggles, pp. 1–26, University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.

Bebbington, A., Bury, J. and Gallagher, E. (2013) ‘Conclusions’, in A. Bebbington and J. Bury (eds), Subterranean Struggles, pp. 267–88, University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.

Brown, K. (2012) A History of Mining in Latin America, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

Bury, J. and Bebbington, A. (2013) ‘New geographies of extractive industries in Latin America’, in A. Bebbington and J. Bury (eds), Subterranean Struggles, pp. 27–66, University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.

Colombia Solidarity Campaign (2013) ‘La Colosa: a death foretold’, Colombia Solidarity Campaign, London

Galeano, E. (1971) Open Veins of Latin America, tr. C. Belfrage (1997), Monthly Review Press, New York, NY.

Gatehouse, T. (2017a) ‘Antofagasta: the Goliath which is crushing Caimanes’, Latin America Bureau (LAB)

Gatehouse, T. (2017b) ‘After the flood: two years on from the Fundão tailings dam disaster’, LAB

Greenpeace Chile (2016) ‘Greenpeace: El proyecto de Ley de Glaciares es malo y no protege a los glaciares

Jamasmie, C. (2013) ‘Chile’s proposed glaciers protection law worries miners, investors’, MINING.com

McKinley, A. (2018) ‘El Salvador: first anniversary of the mining ban’, LAB

Miller, H. (2010) ‘Esquel community opposes to gold mining, Argentina, 2002–2006’, Global Nonviolent Action Database

Sankey, K. (2014) ‘Colombia: The mining boom: a catalyst of development or resistance?’, in H. Veltmeyer and J. Petras (eds), The New Extractivism: A Post-Neoliberal Development Model of Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century?, pp. 114–43, Zed Books, London and New York, NY.

Scott, P. (2016) ‘Review of Cerro Rico – the silver mountain’, London Mining Network

Thorp, R., Battistelli, S., Guichaoua, Y., Orihuela, J.C. and Paredes, M. (2012) ‘Extractives-based development and developmental outcomes’, in R. Thorp et al., The Developmental Challenges of Mining and Oil: Lessons from Africa and Latin America, pp. 168–211, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Veltmeyer, H. and Petras, J. (2014a) ‘A new model or extractive imperialism?’, in H. Veltmeyer and J. Petras (eds), The New Extractivism, pp. 21–46, Zed Books, London and New York, NY.

Veltmeyer, H. and Petras, J. (2014b) ‘Theses on extractive imperialism and the post-neoliberal state’, in H. Veltmeyer and J. Petras (eds), The New Extractivism, pp. 222–49, Zed Books, London and New York, NY.

Videos

Further reading

Argentina

Lucrecia Wagner/Marcelo Giraud/Mendoza

–      Asamblea Popular por el Agua (2018) YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1nDaQI0d3aO3ZnSXiToYADEopI0VMlV-> (YouTube channel, in Spanish)

–      Café Universidad (2015) ‘Entrevista en capítulos: Lucrecia Wagner, investigadora ambiental’, Radio Universidad, <http://www.unidiversidad.com.ar/entrevista-en-capitulos-lucrecia-wagner-investigadora-ambiental> (in Spanish)

–      Conte, G. (n.d.) ‘Las razones de un ambientalista: por qué las provincias mineras “no están mejor” que Mendoza’, MDZ Online, <https://www.mdzol.com/nota/393070-las-razones-de-un-ambientalista-por-que-las-provincias-mineras-no-estan-mejor-que-mendoza> (in Spanish)

–      Gago Menor, A. (2015) ‘Lucrecia Wagner, Investigadora Argentina de Conflictos Ambientales: “Buscar alternativas a la minería sigue siendo la tarea pendiente”’, Revista Pueblos, <http://www.revistapueblos.org/blog/2015/01/26/lucrecia-wagner-investigadora-argentina-de-conflictos-ambientales-buscar-alternativas-a-la-mineria-sigue-siendo-la-tarea-pendiente> (in Spanish)

–      MDZtv (2015) ‘Marcelo Giraud – Entrevista Completa’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDub6PDS0VM> (in Spanish)

–      Wagner, L.S. (2014) Conflictos socioambientales: La Megaminería en Mendoza, 1884-2011, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. (In Spanish)

 

Carina Jofré/San Juan/Jáchal

  • He, L. (2017) ‘Veladero: history repeats itself’, Equal Times, <https://www.equaltimes.org/veladero-history-repeating-itself?lang=en#.W1XOedJKjIU>
  • Healey, M. and Martin, F. (2017) ‘A Troubling Turn for Glacier Science in Argentina’, GlacierHub, <http://glacierhub.org/tag/jachal-no-se-toca>
  • Jofré Luna, I.C. (2017) ‘Una mirada crítica de los contextos de patrimonialización en el contexto megaminero’, in J.R. Pellini (ed), Arqueología Comercial: Dinero, alienación y anestesía, pp. 143-176, JAS Arqueología, Madrid.
  • McSheffrey, E. (2016) ‘Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold fired whistleblower. Then it spilled cyanide into five rivers’, Canada’s National Observer, <https://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/06/24/news/canadian-mining-giant-barrick-gold-fired-whistleblower-then-they-spilled-cyanide>
  • Nathanson, M. (2017) ‘Top Argentine glacier scientist charged over cyanide mine spill’, Mongabay, <https://news.mongabay.com/2017/12/top-argentine-glacier-scientist-charged-over-cyanide-mine-spill>

 

Brazil

The Bento Rodrigues Disaster/Mariana

  • ephemeral brain (2015) ‘Facts on the environmental catastrophe in Mariana, Brazil: the truths they won’t let you know’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYX5ZWVk0yM> (in Portuguese with English subtitles)
  • Gormezano, D., Protti, T. and Cowie, S. (n.d.) ‘The Mariana mining disaster: A journey through Brazil’s worse environmental disaster’, France 24, <http://webdoc.france24.com/brazil-dam-mining-disaster-mariana>
  • London Mining Network (2017) ‘The River is Dead: The impact of the catastrophic failure of the Fundão tailings dam’, London Mining Network, <http://londonminingnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Fundao-Report-Final-lowres.pdf>
  • Phillips, D. and Brasileiro, D. (2018) ‘Brazil dam disaster: firm knew of potential impact months in advance’, The Guardian, <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/28/brazil-dam-collapse-samarco-fundao-mining>
  • Ruhfus, J. and Lak, L. (2017) ‘Brazil’s River of Mud’, Al Jazeera, <https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2016/08/brazil-river-mud-160818081002569.html>

 

Chile

Coordinación de Territorios en Defensa de los Glaciares/Chilean glaciers/Pascua Lama

–      Concha, M. (2017) ‘The history of the Pascua-Lama mining project’, Generatie Transitie, <http://generatietransitie.be/en/news/history-pascua-lama-mining-project>

–      González, E. (2016) ‘Chile has 24,133 glaciers, and we’re losing them piece by piece’, Greenpeace, <https://www.greenpeace.org/archive-international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/chile-patagonia-glaciers-losing-them-to-climate-change-mining/blog/55260>

–      Li, F. (2016) ‘The Defeat of Pascua Lama’, Nacla, <https://nacla.org/news/2016/03/09/defeat-pascua-lama>

–      Sayeed, S. (2016) ‘Activists Say Chilean Glacier Protection Law Falls Short’, GlacierHub, <http://glacierhub.org/2016/05/05/activists-say-chilean-glacier-protection-law-falls-short>

 

Caimanes/Minera Los Pelambres

–      Böhm, S. and Maher, R. (2016) ‘What is Antofagasta hiding from it investors?’, New Internationalist, <https://newint.org/blog/2016/05/17/what-is-antofagasta-hiding>

–      chilemovilizalared (2013) ‘Chile se Moviliza – Caimanes’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-3azQ1nkGg> (in Spanish)

–      Franklin, J. (2014) ‘How the El Mauro dam divided a family in the Caimanes community’, The Guardian, <https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/how-el-mauro-dam-divided-family-in-caimanes>

–      goingundergroundRT (2016) ‘Environmental Hazards in Chile’s Mines’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdOLzB7rouE>

–      London Mining Network (2017) ‘In the Valley of the Shadow of Death? A Report on Antofagasta plc, Minera Los Pelambres and Caimanes’, London Mining Network, <http://londonminingnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LMN-Caimanes-report-final-revised.pdf>

–      Maeve, A. and Barrington-Bush, L. (2017) ‘For how long will the London Stock Exchange give Antofagasta mine a free pass?’, The Ecologist, <https://theecologist.org/2017/jun/01/how-long-will-london-stock-exchange-give-antofagasta-mine-free-pass>

 

Colombia

Camila Méndez/Cajamarca/La Colosa

  • Broughton, Z. (2017) ‘Mines and Money Protests’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=ofZ4KX7AZlk>
  • Ebus, B. (2017) ‘Villagers vote to ban ‘La Colosa’ gold mining project in Colombia’, Mongabay, <https://news.mongabay.com/2017/03/villagers-vote-to-ban-la-colosa-gold-mining-project-in-colombia>
  • Garavito, S., Ordoñez, S. and Rhoades, H. (2017) ‘Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry’, Red Pepper, <https://www.redpepper.org.uk/meet-the-frontline-activists-facing-down-the-global-mining-industry>
  • Novara Reporters (2018) ‘How a Tiny Colombian Village Beat the World’s Third Largest Gold Mining Company’, Novara Media, <http://novaramedia.com/2018/03/25/how-a-tiny-colombian-village-beat-the-worlds-third-largest-gold-mining-company>

 

Rogelio Ustate/Tabaco community/El Cerrejón

  • Brogeland Laache, F. (2016) ‘Life by Latin America’s largest open-pit coal mine’, Al Jazeera, <https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/02/life-latin-america-largest-open-pit-coal-160201114829811.html>
  • Coronado Espitia, S. (2017) ‘Las Huellas del Cerrejón – Documental explotación de carbón mina El Cerrejón – La Guajira, Colombia’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryssy7pJhJI> (in Spanish)
  • Jasiewicz, E. (2014) ‘In Colombia, two worlds collide’, New Humanist, <https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/4789/in-colombia-two-worlds-collide>
  • Solly, R. (2014) ‘Stop forced displacements by Cerrejon Coal in Colombia!’, The Ecologist, <https://theecologist.org/2014/dec/03/stop-forced-displacements-cerrejon-coal-colombia>
  • Vasquez, R. (2014) ‘Rogelio Ustate – “9 de Agosto del 2001”’, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKfC7s0iPFY> (in Spanish with English subtitles)

 

El Salvador

  • Lakhani, N. (2017) ‘El Salvador makes history as first nation to impose blanket ban on metal mining’, The Guardian, <https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/mar/30/el-salvador-makes-history-first-nation-to-impose-blanket-ban-on-metal-mining>
  • Mardirossian, N. (2017) ‘Does El Salvador’s Metal Mining Ban Suggest a Global Trend?’, Columbia Water Center, <https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2017/05/02/does-el-salvadors-metal-mining-ban-suggest-a-global-trend>
  • McKinley, A. (2018) ‘El Salvador: first anniversary of the mining ban’, Latin America Bureau, <https://lab.org.uk/el-salvador-first-anniversary-of-the-mining-ban>
  • Yatsenko, Y. and Rosemont, S. (2017) ‘How Local, Grassroots Organizing Drove El Salvador’s Mining Ban’, Foreign Policy in Focus, <https://fpif.org/how-local-grassroots-organizing-drove-el-salvadors-mining-ban>

 

Peru

  • 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, <https://gpinvestigations.pri.org/a-us-corporation-wants-to-raze-a-gold-rich-mountain-in-peru-this-grandma-stands-in-its-way-8a7e24d5f35d>
  • Hennessy, H. (2003) ‘Gold mine fails to glitter in Peru’, BBC News, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3256594.stm>
  • Stern, R. (2016) ‘All that glitters is not gold: Indigenous communities in Peru protest mining’, DW, <https://www.dw.com/en/all-that-glitters-is-not-gold-indigenous-communities-in-peru-protest-mining/a-19328199>
  • Wilson, S. (2002) ‘A Life Worth More Than Gold’, The Washington Post, <https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/06/09/a-life-worth-more-than-gold/e7edc7f8-9685-466e-ba2b-8d33ed1dde18/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7055317503bf>

Voices News

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Voices of Latin America — US edition

Voices of Latin America will be published in the US by Monthly Review Press, in partnership with LAB and Practical Action Publishing, in March 2019. Individual copies can be ordered from Monthly Review Press at US$32.00 each. Review copies can be ordered here (on the same page there is a link labelled 'desk copies', for professors who have already ordered a book for a class). Ingram Book Ordering here. Here is what US academics have said about Voices: Anthony Bebbington, Higgins Professor of Environment and Society, Clark University, Worcester, MA; Member of the Board of Directors, Oxfam America; Professorial Fellow, Global Development Institute, University...

Endorsements for Voices of Latin America

Here are some of the endorsements for LAB's new book, Voices of Latin America: Dr Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Adviser, OXFAM: This is a wonderful X-ray of modern Latin America, a vision of the continent's struggles and potential futures through the eyes of its social movement leaders and intellectuals. Read it from end to end, whether as an introduction or an update, or mine it for quotes from inspirational figures across the region on a range of contemporary issues. Latin America (or most of it) has come the end of its progressive 'pink tide' years of the early 2000s. For the...

Voices: a work in progress

Work on LAB's exciting new book Voices of Latin America is progressing rapidly More than 45 of our interviews, from 11 countries, have been translated, and our wonderful team of volunteer editors are at work on the separate chapters The editor and project co-ordinator is Tom Gatehouse Publication date is now set for September 2018 Alongside the book, we will develop the Voices website. This will include more interviews, photos, videos and some of the audio recordings used in the book. But it will be progressively added to to create a constantly growing and up-to-date archive of social...

Voices of Latin America: Thank you to all our generous supporters

We estimate that the total raised from our crowd-funding will be around £12,720 A huge thank you to all our generous supporters. Your pledges on our project Crowdfunding site totalled a magnificent £7,000. We have now received a further £4,000 from our match-funder. We can claim Gift Aid on most of those donations made by UK tax-payers, worth another 25%. This will enable us to pay for some of the daunting amount of editing and translation work and, if necessary, commission further Voices interviews. It's a big boost to the project.  

Voices of Latin America: crowd-funding completed… fund-raising continues

May 18. Our Crowdfunder campaign finished last night. We raised £7,000, but the total will be considerably more because part of this was match-funded. A huge thanks to our 163 generous supporters. It was a great learning experience for the LAB Voices team, and will be excellent advance promotion for the book. More funding needed If you missed the Crowdfunder deadline, it's not too late for you to contribute. Just go to the 'Donate with CAF' button on LAB's Home Page, or click here. Keep watching this space ...for updates on the project as it proceeds. We plan to begin adding audio, video,...