Todos Santos Water is Worth More than Gold to Its Citizens
Agua Vale Mas Que Oro
The following is an email summarizing the great progress made by denizens of Todos Santos, Cabo, La Paz and others by coming together in our opposition to the proposed open pit gold mine in the local mountains. A notoriously dirty industry. This letter is reprinted in its entirety with the permission of Elena Morena. While this undoubtedly this is the first of many battles, congratulations to everyone involved and thank you, thank you sincerely for all your efforts. You are all of our heroes on the ground.
“At the urging of Congresswoman Esthela Ponce Beltran, last Wednesday Governor Narciso Agundez Montaño finally agreed to meet with representatives of Agua Vale Mas Que Oro. During the meeting the group was able to fully express the concerns of the Todos Santos community and present the Governor with petitions that demonstrate wide opposition to the Paredones Amarillos mining project. Scientists also attended the meeting from the University Autonoma of Baja California Sur and CIBNOR, as well as representatives from SEMARNAT and aids to Congresswoman Ponce. At the end of the two-hour meeting the Governor announced that he would vote against the change of zoning in the Sierra de la Laguna Reserve that would permit mining. He also made a formal administrative request that SEMARNAT suspend permits allowing the company to initiate mining and that federal agencies formally extend the limits of the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere reserve. Yesterday Congresswoman Esthela Ponce introduced federal legislation to cancel the mining permits for the Paredones Amarillos mine, the Governor says he will support the legislation. Governor Agundez stressed the importance of developing sustainable projects in the mountain communities that will offer employment to the many families living in the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere.
The Governor’s announcement follows an intense week of protests and anti mining activities in Todos Santos, La Paz and Los Cabos. Our local Congresswoman Ady Nunez Abin introduced a resolution in the state congress opposing the mine and Municipal President Rosa Delia Cota Montaño made public statements in opposition to the Paredones Amarillos project. Senator Josephina Cota Cota on the federal level is also applying pressure.
The Governor’s public opposition to the project is an enormous milestone and a tribute to what we can accomplish as a community when we come together in common purpose. Nevertheless, we are also keenly aware that the mining company will continue to fight to open the mine and we know that there are other mining interests developing in the San Antonio – Las Planes area. Agua Vale Mas Que Oro and the Todos Santos and Pescadero communities are united in our determination to stop any projects that threaten our water, our health and the unique quality of life that brings so many people to Baja California Sur. If we destroy our precious natural resources we compromise the very qualities that make our state so special.
A congratulations to our friends at Niparaja and all the other NGOs and individuals who have helped in this campaign. We have certainly come a long way…together!”
Un abrazo fuerte…
Agua Vale Mas Que Oro
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