EARTHblog » Nick Magel
By Nick Magel
June 1, 2011
UPDATE 2: The Government of Peru announced today that Bear Creek's proposed Santa Ana silver mine, 40 km from the shores of Lake Titicaca, will be postponed for 1 year. This serves as a promising development for the communities fighting the mine. However, the postponement falls far short of their demands for a complete cancellation of the mine.
UPDATE: Yesterday communities in and around Puno have agreed to a truce, lifting blockades, in order to allow Presidential voting in the region. Peruvians are heading to the polls this Sunday to vote in a run-off election between Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala. The Puno region is seen as a Humala stronghold. The pause in the strike is set to expire Tuesday June 7th. Thereafter, according to leader of the protests Walter Aduviri, farmers associations from Cusco and Arequipa regions will be joining in the call for a permanent end to mining in the fragile region.
Reports of over 10,000 people taking to the streets of Puno chanting "Mina no, agro si", as Indigenous communities block the Peru-Bolivia boarder, has caught the international media s attention today. For weeks protests, led by Aymara communities, have grown in fierce opposition to a newly approved silver mine near Lake Titicaca. The mining company, Bear Creek of Canada, is poised to begin construction of a silver mine near the shores of Lake Titicaca within months. Local communities say the silver mine threatens their farms, their children, and their water. With Peru s history of mining pollution the concerns are no doubt substantiated.
Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, is a booming tourist region that has developed into a prime example of community-supported tourism. The region is a model for developing a sustainable economy rather than a temporary economy promised by oil and mining projects. Puno s main industry is tourism. A silver mine in the backyard of this community, and on the shores of one of Peru s natural wonders, is sure to be a blow to the region s tourism economy. It sounds eerily familiar to a proposed uranium mine outside of the Grand Canyon, and paints a grim picture to mining companies inability to respect nature and communities alike.
By Nick Magel
May 25, 2011
On May 16, Change.org, in support of EARTHWORKS No Dirty Gold Campaign, released a multipronged social media action against Costco. Change.org redeveloped an online petition calling for Costco to sign onto the Golden Rules principles that has since garnered over 27,000 signatures. Accompanying the morning s petition blitz was a creative bomb of Costco s Facebook page, where responsible gold mining activists changed their profile pictures in order to spell out No Dirty Gold on Costco s Facebook homepage.