No to Pascua Lama Open-cast mine in the Andean Cordillera
Halt the destruction of glaciers providing pure water
No to Pascua Lama Open-cast mine in the Andean Cordillera on the Chilean-Argentine frontier. We ask the Chilean Government not to authorize the Pascua Lama project to protect the whole of 3 glaciers, the purity of the water of the San Felix Valley and El Transito, the quality of the agricultural land of the region of Atacama, the quality of life of the Diaguita people and of the whole population of the region.
Judge for yourself if you want to take action. In the Valle de San Felix, the purest water in Chile runs from 2 rivers, fed by 2 glaciers. Water is a most precious resource, and wars will be fought for it. Indigenous farmers use the water, there is no unemployment, and they provide the second largest source of income for the area. Under the glaciers has been found a huge deposit of gold, silver and other minerals. To get at these, it would be necessary to break, to destroy the glaciers – something never conceived of in the history of the orld – and to make 2 huge holes, each as big as a whole mountain, one for extraction and one for the mine’s rubbish tip.
The project is called PASCUA LAMA. The company is called Barrick Gold. The operation is planned by a multi-national company, one of whose members is George Bush Senior. The Chilean Government has approved the project to start this year, 2006. The only reason it hasn’t started yet is because the farmers have got a temporary stay of execution. If they destroy the glaciers, they will not just destroy the source of specially pure water, but they will permanently contaminate the 2 rivers so they will never again be fit for human or animal consumption because of the use of cyanide and sulphuric acid in the extraction process. Every last gramme of gold will go abroad to the multinational company and not one will be left with the people whose land it is. They will only be left with the poisoned water and the resulting illnesses.
The farmers have been fighting a long time for their land, but have been forbidden to make a TV appeal by a ban from the Ministry of the Interior. Their only hope now of putting brakes on this project is to get help from international justice. The world must know what is happening in Chile. The only place to start changing the world is from here. We ask you to circulate this message amongst your
friends. Email [email protected] for further information.