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Mexican Mining: "Perforadora de Autonomy"

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By Martín Cuadra

Mining activity is regulated in Mexico by various laws, but the main one is the Mining Law. The Mexican mining law is the expression of savage capitalism.

Current situation of mining extraction in Mexico. What is the reason for this "mining explosiveness"?


“In Mexico and many other Latin American nations, mining activity is growing alarmingly. The global economic crisis has triggered, on the one hand, the demand for gold and silver as a refuge for capital in crisis due to speculation. Another point is the demand for metallic and non-metallic minerals is increasing due to the growth of economies such as China and India and this has caused the issue to become profitable, the less productive deposits, favored by legal modifications and deregulation labor and environmental.


In countries like Mexico, the current situation of invasion of mining investments must be understood as the result of a process of opening and deregulation originated in the negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), this led to preparing the economy and national territory , through profound legal modifications. In Mexico, for example, article 27 of the Constitution and the Agrarian Law.

Mining activity is regulated in Mexico by various laws, but the main one is the Mining Law. 27).

The Mexican Mining Law declares mining to be of public utility, preferential to any other activity and free of state or municipal contributions: “The exploration, exploitation and benefit of the minerals or substances referred to in this Law are of public utility, they will be preferential over any other use or exploitation of the land, subject to the conditions established therein, and only by federal law may contributions that tax these activities be established ".

This fact of declaring mineral exploration, exploitation and benefit activities of public utility, allows the State to expropriate the owners of the lands where the minerals exist if it considers that this measure is necessary for the mining activity to be carried out. cape. The Mexican mining law is the expression of savage capitalism.

"An impressive fact is that 30 percent of the Mexican territory has already been concessioned for mining and according to the State, 70 percent of the country is a" potential for mining. " If that is analyzed in the light that half of the Mexican territory is in the hands of indigenous peoples and peasants, it means a potential to expropriate 50 percent of the socially owned land. "

What happened was an abuse of the notion of public utility. In the case of mining, none of the criteria established by the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico regarding the "Thesis of public utility" is fulfilled: because the expropriated property (the lands and waters of the communities) is not destined to the provision of a public service; the activity is not aimed at immediately and directly satisfying a specific social class, and is not aimed at satisfying the country's need, to face situations that affect it as a political or international entity (national utility). "

This has led to the dispossession of peasants and indigenous people as a project. There is neither public interest nor public utility, only private interest and particular utility. What happens is that it was given that name so that, in the event of opposition from the property owners, they avoid having to respect their rights and choose to legally strip them of them. Here the compensation that could be paid to the expropriated and its amount go to second term since finally their right to benefit from the existing resources on their lands will not be respected. "

A Mexican government respectful of the rule of law?


“What has been happening is a violation of the rights of the population and of international law itself based on this provision. Concessionaires can request that a land occupied by a town be vacated so that they can carry out their activities; that some lands dedicated to the sowing of food stop being dedicated to it by mining; that lands dedicated to forestry or forestry experience the same fate as the previous ones. In the case of indigenous peoples, the same provision may be the legal basis for their sacred or ritual sites to contribute to the maintenance of their identity, be razed or destroyed. The Mexican Mining Law is therefore contrary to what is established in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, regarding the rights of indigenous peoples.

Let us remember that the global crisis drives the mining fever in Mexico and Latin America. There has been a growing demand for metals is the world expression of the increase in the production and sale of motor vehicles, airplanes, ships, building materials, industrial robots, computers and other high-tech devices, components, all of them, of the current globalization from factories and cities. Due to the context of international crisis, the conjuncture of high international metal prices, the concessions of prospecting and mining projects in Mexico have increased significantly during the last 10 years.

How many exploration and mining projects are approved in Mexican territory?


“One of the main countries that has found the“ huaca de oro ”in Mexico has been Canadian mining companies. For 2010, a total of 724 projects were recorded in Mexico broken down into territory, where 534 (74%) is Canadian investment.

An impressive fact is that 30 percent of the Mexican territory has already been concessioned for mining and according to the State, 70 percent of the country is a "potential for mining." If this is analyzed in the light that half of the Mexican territory is in the hands of indigenous peoples and peasants, it means a potential to expropriate 50 percent of the socially owned land. "

The greater the concession, the greater the proliferation of conflict.

“In Mexico, socio-environmental and labor conflicts due to the imposition of transnational mining projects have also multiplied.


The conflicts of the local Mexican communities with the mining projects not only denounce the dispossession of land, but also denounce the contamination of the waters, the air, the deterioration of the health of the communities neighboring the mines, the exploitation of the workers and violations of laws (environmental impact assessment, violation of legal procedures, repression and violation of human rights, and invasion of ecological conservation areas).

A clear example is the exploitation of the “Caballo Blanco” gold mine in the municipality of Actopan. This mine located in Veracruz, is located 3 kilometers from the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant. By locating the mine so close to the nuclear plant, it becomes a "high risk" area for the entire population. For example, when there is mining activity, there is great movement of earth and this can cause fissures in the reactors of the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant, it would cause serious environmental damage, it implies ending the mineral and natural resources, it would cause the population to be displaced from their properties -be it by way of purchase or expropriation- competition and there will be conflicts over water and, above all, that puts all of Veracruz at risk due to an atomic energy leak. What is at stake here is the existence of an entire territory.

That is why mining conflicts must be examined in the context of the environmental catastrophe that the entire country is suffering today. Mining conflicts are also linked to other environmental conflicts related to the dispossession of water, the location of confinements of toxic waste and the use of minerals for highly polluting industrial production.

In Mexico, there are more than 200 environmental conflicts related to processes of exploitation of natural resources, land and water dispossession and their impacts on ecosystems and human health of the affected communities. "

Martin Cuadra - Professor of the Faculty of Economics of the UNAM and environmentalist. Member of the Center for Social Analysis, Information and Popular Training, AC (Casifop) and the National Assembly of Environmentally Affected (ANAA). Writer and translator for ETC Group.

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http://www.simas.org.ni


Video: #140 Big problems in Cartel controled areas while exploring mines in Mexico. (June 2022).


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