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The Cauca is poised to become an open pit mine without any control
In perspective 56% of its territory would be handed over mining concessions to transnational corporations
Friday, November 5, 2010 11:01
(Translated by Leo Torres, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, CSN's Volunteer Editor)
In the mining hearing convened by Wilson Narvaez' proposition, who is one of deputies of Cauca, in plenary meeting of the Departmental Assembly of Cauca held on Thursday, November 4, and with the presence of delegates from the Ministry of Mines and Environment, the Regional Corporation of Cauca, the Interior Department, and the military authorities, and the Police, Senator of the Republic, Alexander López Maya alerted the regional authorities, enforcement agencies, and communities about the serious threat hangs over the region under the intensive development of large mining concessions to transnational corporations. "The mining policy, which now calls up one of the engines of the development plan of the National Government, will hand over 1200 titles (deeds) of mining exploration in the Department of Cauca to the most powerful transnational corporations such as Anglo Gold Ashanti, Carboandes, and Cerromatoso. This territory could cover more than 1 million 600 thousand hectares, making up 56% out of the whole; most of these regions belong to environmental strategic reserves, such as the Natural Park of Munchique, the highest parts of the Western and Central Range, Patia River's basin, the municipality of Timibiqui and the Colombian Massif, itself; areas, on which have already been awarded most of the 252 titles of mining concessions; titles that currently do not have an environmental licenses" noted Senator López Maya. "These areas considered the largest reserves of freshwater production in the world, located in the department of Cauca. Anywhere else in the world they would be untouchable, however, and thanks to the mining model at stake in Colombia, these are seriously threatened by the boom in concessions and illegal mining, which are under a law that does not offers guarantee for the communities and the protection of the environment and gives all resources without consideration for the transnational corporations," said Congressman Alexander Lopez.
In the developing of the mining audience they affirmed the serious concern of participants about the situation of mining concessions in the Cauca municipalities of Almaguer, Bolívar, La Sierra, Suarez, and Buenos Aires. The areas of these municipalities impacted by concessions to transnational corporations have been suffered serious environmental, displacement of communities, and violation of human rights crisis. Similarly, in the audience also repeatedly denounced the inaction of the authorities and control agencies to perform their duties in the concessional areas to multinational corporations. In the plenary session they voted to call for a new mining audience of the Departmental Assembly of Cauca, which convenes the National Government to discuss the situation of mining in the department of Cauca. H.S. Alexander López Maya Thank you for its disclosure
H.S. Press Office Alexander López Maya
Website: www.alexanderlopezmaya.com Popayán, Thursday November 4, 2010 This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.