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Illegal transit of trucks to Pascua Lama:

Explosives go through populated areas of Alto del Carmen
by Huasco Valley communities and organizations that defend life and water
October 28th, 2009

 The Canadian transnational mining source said in October 2009 that they would begin the building its controversial Pascua Lama project. However, there are a number of requirements of environmental authorities unsettled by the company. Despite this, since early October, we, the neighbors of the municipality of Alto del Carmen, have been threatened by the passage of large trucks. Within the first weeks of October we note with concern an increase in vehicular traffic miners, from 5 to 6 trucks with an entourage of trucks and Chilean police, who are supposed to prevent accidents. All this at about 5 am. Within these caravans, the community has seen a truck with plates that read Enaex (an explosives company) and other loads that are unknown to the community, to declare that:

1. Our roads are not suitable for mining trucks. That is common sense, in addition to the Resolution Environmental Qualification (RCA) Pascua Lama, which requires the company  to build a bypass if they want to go through our town. That work was not carried out; the trucks are going, but the authority does not enforce the law. Instead, it sends police to suppress the legitimate demands of our community. It is so absurd, that every time you pass a truck, you need to lift the power lines to let the trucks through.

2. Even when we asked for trucks and vans in Barrick's entourage and Chilean police who accompanied them showed no permits or customs documents, as required by the Treaty Chile-Argentina Binational Mining. If this project starts in this way, what guarantees do we have of integrity in the future?

3. In two weeks of intensive and illegal transit of trucks to the border with Argentina, there was an explosion on the morning that woke up to several neighbors.  It is not yet sure what happened. Who is liable if accidents occur when carrying the poisons that need to steal the gold from the mountain? Who will respond if new "accidents" in transportation of 82 tons daily of explosives as required by this absurd project? Remember, the street that the cross goes to a school in Alto del Carmen, in the parish of the municipality and the central square.

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Barrick kills for viewing ERA BILL OF OCTOBER 09, (2). jpg

As the Huasco Valley communities and organizations that defend life and water, we reiterate that we are against chemical mining projects open in the high mountains. We reiterate that the authorities are serving the mining and not the communities they represent. We reiterate that the Police should uphold the legitimate demands of communities and not the petty interests of transnational corporations such as Barrick Gold.

SIGNED:

Defense Council Huasco Valley

Pastoral Safeguarding Creation - Huasco Valley

Atacama Clean - Vallenar

Latin American Observatory for Environmental Conflicts OLCA

Pascua Lama Coordinator against Santiago

Radial Water Seed Program

Jorge Pino - Councilman Vallenar

Alejandro Valencia V. - Councilman Alto del Carmen

Gudelio Ramirez - Councilman Alto del Carmen

Arturo Aliaga Bravo - Councilman Alto del Carmen

Huasco Valley, Santiago, October 28, 2009

 

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