Local opponents return machines to Sunshine Silver Mines
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.
Dawn Paley is a member of Media Co-op and a regular contributor to the CIP Americas Program www.americas.org
Photo: Claude Denis