Protesters Block La Platosa Mine for Several Hours
Conflict with Excellon Resources Continues
LA PLATOSA, DURANGO, MEXICO, Sept. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - On Sept. 25, protesters blocked access to the Excellon Resources Inc.'s La Platosa mine for several hours. The protesters have maintained their camp at the entrance of the mine since July 8. They continue to demand a resolution to the conflicts between Excellon, local landowners, and workers in the mine.
"We are exercising our right to protest. Our blockade occurred on private property that does not belong to Excellon. We are authorized by the property owners to maintain the camp where it is," said David Espinoza, President of the Board of Directors of the Ejido La Sierrita. "We blocked access of vehicles to the mine, but allowed personnel to pass through on foot."
"With this blockade, we show the world that Excellon has not removed the over 80 people who continue to live in the protest camp. We also show that the labour and land conflicts caused by Excellon continue and that Excellon has not fully restarted production in the mine," said Jorge Mora, General Secretary of Local 309 of the National Mining Union.
Along with the landowners, the union is protesting the years of efforts by Excellon to keep workers from forming a democratic union in the workplace.
Tuesday's protest ended after several residents from Bermejillo arrived to provoke the protesters. The Bermejillo residents were accompanied by Excellon Vice-President Brendan Cahill and Chief Operating Officer Robert Moore.
On Sept. 4, landowners filed a lawsuit to rescind their land use contract with the company regarding the La Platosa mine.
The lawsuit, filed by members of the Ejido La Sierrita, demands the return of 27 hectares sold to the company as part of the land use agreement. The 27 hectares are subject to rescission based on Excellon's failure to comply with the contract. Excellon requires this land for entry to the mine, such that rescission will affect the entire mining operation. The suit also seeks return of 1,100 hectares leased to the company in 2008.
After two months of stopped production, Excellon partially restarted operations in the La Platosa mine on Aug. 29 when 100 Mexican soldiers and police used force and intimidation to break the Ejido's blockade of the mine. The protest began in early July after repeated attempts at talks with the company failed. The protest continues despite the presence of armed security guards at the entrance of the mine.
The Ejido and the non-governmental organization ProDESC, which advises the Ejido, recently released a fact sheet regarding the conflict. It can be viewed at http://www.prodesc.org.mx/en/?p=259.
SOURCE: Project on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ProDESC)For further information:
Alejandra Ancheita, ProDESC (Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales), Tel. +52-55-5212-2230, +52-55-3334-6045, email@example.com.
PRODESC A.C. Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, A.C. trabaja sobre la defensa, investigación y capacitación en derechos humanos a nivel local. www.prodesc.org.mx 55122230