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Denver-based mining company retreats from Oaxaca

Local opponents return machines to Sunshine Silver Mines

by Dawn Paley

A view over Magdalena Teitipac, Oaxaca. Photo by Claude Denis.
A view over Magdalena Teitipac, Oaxaca. Photo by Claude Denis.

A Denver, Colorado based mining company is the owner of a mining project that had its machines returned by local authorities in the village of Magdalena Teitipac last month. Media reports and news releases previously misidentified the parent company of the local subsidiary Minera Plata Real as a Canadian company, Linear Gold. 

"Yes, Minera Plata Real is the owner of the concessions at Magdalena Teitipac, and yes, Sunshine Silver Mines Corp. became the parent of Minera Plata Real in 2011," wrote Phil Pyle from Minera Plata Real in an email to the Media Co-op.

The move to peacefully evict the company came after a community assembly in February, during which the majority of community members voted against the mining project and any kind of exploration in their territories. Magdalena Teitipac is a Zapotec community governed according to customary practices, with assemblies representing the maximum local authority.

"We cannot affirm that it is a definitive triumph of the community, however the act of having the company take away its machines represents a significant advance in defense of the land," according to Neftalí Reyes Méndez, an activist with Alternative Education Services (Educa) in Oaxaca City.  

Minera con sede en Denver se retira de Oaxaca: Opositores locales devuelven máquinas de Sunshine Silver Mines
 
Una empresa minera con sede en Denver, Colorado, es la propietaria de un proyecto minero a la que le fueron devueltas sus máquinas por las autoridades locales en el pueblo de Magdalena Teitipac el mes pasado.  Reportes y comunicados de prensa previamente identificaron erróneamente la compañía matriz de la filial local Minera Plata Real como una empresa canadiense, Linear Gold.
 
"Sí, Minera Plata Real es propietaria de las concesiones en Magdalena Teitipac, y sí, Sunshine Silver Mines Corp. se convirtió en la  compañía matriz de Minera Plata Real en 2011", escribió Phil Pyle de Minera Plata Real en un correo electrónico al Media Co-op.
 
La descición de desalojar pacíficamente la empresa se produjo después de una asamblea comunitaria en febrero, durante la cual la mayoría de los miembros de la comunidad votó en contra del proyecto minero y cualquier tipo de exploración en sus territorios. Magdalena Teitipac es una comunidad zapoteca gobernada de acuerdo con Usos y Costumbres, donde las asambleas representan a la máxima autoridad local.
 
"No podemos afirmar que es un triunfo definitivo de la comunidad, sin embargo, el hecho de que la empresa retire su maquinaria representa un avance significativo en la defensa del territorio," según Neftalí Reyes Méndez, activista de los Servicios de Educación Alternativa (Educa ) en la ciudad de Oaxaca.
 
 

 


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dawn (dawn paley)
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Member since August 2008

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Journalist, co-founder VMC, ex-editor & board member with Media Co-op. Author, Drug War Capitalism.

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