TLAHUALILO, DURANGO, Mexico, July 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadian mining
company Excellon Resources Inc. has threatened landowners of the Ejido
"La Sierrita" and their adviser, Project on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ProDESC), with criminal proceedings and judicial
action in response to the landowners' peaceful blockade of the
company's La Platosa mine.
On July 8, 2012, more than 70 landowners of the Ejido located in the
municipality of Tlahualilo, Durango, decided to carry out a peaceful
blockade of Excellon's La Platosa mine. The landowners' actions are the
result of the company's unwillingness to resolve festering disputes
over a land rental contract between the company and the landowners
dating back to April 2008.
In its July 11, 2012, press release, the company announced that the
state and federal governments will intervene in the conflict between
the company and the landowners in the next 24 to 48 hours.
The company calls the landowners' actions illegal, but fails to mention
that these actions are the landowners' response to nearly eight months
of repeated efforts by the Ejido to resolve the land rental contract
Having exhausted various channels of dialogue with little response from
Excellon, the Ejido Assembly decided to exercise its legitimate right
to peacefully protest in front of the mine in order to force the
company to resolve the land rental contract disputes.
The Ejido also calls on Excellon to comply with the clauses of the
contract requiring the construction of a water treatment plant, the
granting of concessions, and to pay fair rental prices for the land,
among other issues.
The company's threats represent a serious risk to the physical integrity
and security of the landowners who are trying to peacefully demand that
the company respect their human rights.
The landowners and their supporters are petitioning Excellon and
government authorities in Mexico and Canada to ensure the safety of the
landowners of the Ejido and to guarantee the landowners' rights to
demand compliance with the land rental contract and to be protected
from repressive action by local, state or federal officials.
Petitions are being sent to Peter Crossgrove, Excellon's Executive
Chairman and Interim CEO, Mexico's President Felipe Calderón and the
Canadian Embassy in Mexico.
In 2004, the mining company Excellon de Mexico, a subsidiary of the
multinational corporation Excellon Resources Inc., established itself
in Tlahualilo, Durango, leasing communal land from the Ejido "La
Sierrita" land via an unfair contract designed almost exclusively for
the benefit of the company.
In 2007, with the assistance of ProDESC, the Ejido conducted a blockade
of the mine in order to address the unfair contract. In 2008, after
three months of protest, the Ejido and Excellon signed a new contract,
establishing provisions that require the company to comply with clauses
that contribute to the development of community projects and better the
quality of life of the landowners.
However, the landowners maintain Excellon has not lived up to its
obligations, forcing the landowners to call for a revision of the
Since November of 2011, the Ejido has repeatedly tried to sit down with
Excellon leadership to resolve the conflicts. Representatives of the
company delayed the dialogue process several times and showed little
willingness to resolve the conflict despite acknowledging breaches and
The parties agreed to another meeting on July 6 of this year, but the
company unilaterally cancelled the meeting two days beforehand.
Therefore, the members of the Landowners Assembly decided on July 8 to
peacefully blockade the mine.
SOURCE Project on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ProDESC)
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