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Between 12 and 15% of the land in the Mexican state of Chiapas has been already granted to mining activities, covering over 1.5 million hectares of land in several municipalities, said Gustavo Castro, member of Otros Mundos Chiapas –Friends of the Earth Mexico during the Meeting Against the Mining Extractive Model held from November 26 to 28.
The meeting coincided with the 3rd anniversary of the death of a leader of the struggle against mining, Mariano Abarca, of Chicomuselo municipality, in the border with Guatemala.
Among the participants there were delegates of social and peasant organizations, churches, networks and movements, representatives of 20 municipalities. The states of Veracruz and Guerrero, as well as Guatemala, Colombia and observers of Canada, Sweden and Germany expressed their support and solidarity with the resistance against mining.
In the three-day event different groups discussed about strategies to organize, to become united. They wrap up the activities with a march where over 2,000 people participated in Chiapas.
At the opening of the event, Gustavo Castro talked about the conclusions of a study that shows the different companies that are carrying out exploration and exploitation in the area, without need for a license.
“The prospection stage, when the mining corporations are exploring the area, is a good time to stop the mine, through assemblies, consultations and putting limits to the corporations”, said Castro.
The meeting called to “create preemptive processes, like meetings, consultations, workshops, training, mobilization, education, community agreements, in order to stop mining corporations. We need to strengthen our bonds and struggles against the extractive model, which is part of this devastating capitalist system”, reads the declaration approved at the meeting.
Meanwhile, there were workshops to expose the corporations that have caused divide in the communities through lies and corruption of civil servants. They have deforested and polluted the water and the soil, affecting the people’s health.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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