Indigenous Zoques and Tzotziles Take Over Santa Fe Mine in Chiapas

Published May 23, 2019

Chiapas

Indigenous Zoques and Tzotziles have taken over the facilities of the Santa Fe mine in the municipality of Solosuchiapa, Chiapas in defense of their territory and Mother Earth. The mine is owned by Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world.

Inhabitants of different settlements of the municipality of Solosuchiapa took over the facilities of the mine “Santa Fe,” property of Carlos Slim, to stop the operation of this company, because it represents a threat for mother earth.

The seizure of the property is made to recover the lands that had been appropriated by Slim, after having made a profound reflection on the consequences of mining, for the use of cyanide, and therefore, deciding not to continue giving permission to work in their land.

This past February 25, thousands of indigenous people and members of peasant social organizations marched to express their rejection of extractive mining and demanded the exit of companies that already operate in the municipality.

For years, accompanied by the Committee “In Defense of Mother Earth,” the Zoque and Tzotzil people of Solosuchiapa have denounced that “the mining extraction will create an unhealthy environment that puts the health of the people at risk, since the washing of the extracted minerals provoke toxic substances that damage water, air, flora and fauna, triggering severe, degenerative and irreversible diseases that are difficult to cure, such as cancer, skin diseases, among others; damaging the quality of life of present and future generations.”

Therefore, they denounced that extractive mining will truncate the possibility of social, cultural, spiritual and other alternative life development; because this mining only generates wealth for its owners.

“Our lands and the water of our rivers (La Sierra, Rio Negro and Moquimba) will be affected in a great dimension, little by little they will become infertilized, vegetation and fish will die, lose their visual beauty, which is a local attraction, and we will not have the possibility of generating sustainable development projects,” they said in a statement.

“We do not want to affect the people or the nature of these lands, which are the home in which we live. We know that the exploitation of the mine will bring more harm than benefits, and we do not want to be rich today, if it is something that would benefit us, and leave our children and future generations impoverished, sick and homeless,” they said.

In view of this, they have demanded the total closure of the “Santa Fe” Mine, which operates in the town of Beneficio, of the municipality of Solosuchiapa and that the lands are returned to their legitimate owners and respect for their own ways of life, which are linked to work in its multiple manifestations that do not harm Mother Earth.