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Bachelet Protested during her Berkeley Visit

by David Moderbach

June 12th Chilean president Michele Bachelet visited Berkeley, California and was met by some 30 persons protesting Chilean treatment of Mapuche communities, hydroelectric dams, and against Bachelet's support for Big Mining and Barrick Gold.

12 de Junio 2008, Berkeley, California:  Hoy hubo una visita de la presidenta Bachelet a Berkeley, California, unos 30 personas manifestaron contra la presidenta por la cuestion Mapuche, las hidroelectricas y contra su apoyo de la Gran Mineria.


President BACHELET:

LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE!

NO TO PASCUA LAMA & BARRICK GOLD

PRESERVE THE WATER, SOCIAL AND ECOLOGICAL COMMON GOODS OF CHILE, THE ANDES AND ARGENTINA!




In Chile and Argentina, there is growing public indignation and opposition to huge, transnational metals mining operations and exploration.  Pres. Bachelet, however, is ignoring the growing droughts, shrinking glaciers and threats to ecosystems and lifestyles of indigenous, campesino, farmers and other groups – and she is handing over entire Chilean, Andean, Argentine mountain ranges and river headwaters to multinational metals mining corporations, such as:


Barrick Gold Corp. (Canada)

Xstrata (Switzerland)

Rio Tinto (England)

Anglo-American (South Africa)



These “new mining” projects are all open-pit metals mines utilizing cyanide leaching techniques, tremendous amounts of power and water.  They strip the mountain ranges of their natural resources and services and leave poverty, contamination and drought.

Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama project is the most bitterly contested, and most emblematic of the wave of transnational mega-mining projects in Latin America.  Barrick Gold, a corporation born in corruption, terrorism and big money politics has been working behind the scenes with corrupt Chilean politicians and officials since the end of the Pinochet regime to completely rewrite national legislation and mining codes. Barrick Gold intends Pascua Lama to be Latin America’s largest open-pit gold mine, utilize thousands of tons daily of cyanide, explosives and depleting water resources to destroy the delicate and tremendous glaciers which literally sustain the life of eternal Chilean mountain communities and ecosystems.

Communities, such as the indigenous Diaguita Huascoaltino have had their lands stolen by Barrick Gold.  Barrick illegally wrested the mountain tops from local owners and are currently lobbying for support for the mega mining project by using big-money, strong-arm tactics, supported by Bachelet.


PRESIDENT BACHELET:

NO TO DIRTY MINING!

NO TO BARRICK GOLD!

 

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