Thursday, August 11, 2016

RESIDENTS FROM RIO SONORA, MX COMMUNITIES AND MINERS DEMAND JUSTICE FROM GRUPO MEXICO ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF ONE OF MEXICO'S WORST ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS

Rio Sonora residents and miners union local 65 members protesting at the Agua Prieta-Douglas AZ border

"Between Aug. 6 and 7, 2014, about 11 million gallons of copper sulfate acid solution spilled from Cananea’s Buenavista del Cobre mine into the Bacanuchi River, a tributary of the Sonora River. The San Pedro River runs north from Cananea, about 25 miles from the Arizona border, while the Sonora River flows south. The spill contaminated the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers and left more than 25,000 people in seven counties without water.


Mexican officials called it their country’s worst mining spill in recent history. And then it got worse. More than a month after the spill, heavy rains from Hurricane Odile caused the dams to overflow and the river to swell, soaking nearby fields with toxic water. The crops are ruined and the people don’t know if they’ll be able to grow on their land again." ("Livelihoods washed away by toxic spill in Sonora" by Perla Trevizo, AZ Daily Star Oct. 4, 2014)
 Click here to read the full article by Perla Trevizo quoted above in the Arizona Daily Star



Children and adults along the Sonora River have suffered numerous and serious health effects after the spill due to heavy metals poisoning and other toxins. Many have died. The only clinic opened in the area to attend to victims from the disaster has been closed.




The protest at the US-Mexico border in Agua Prieta

"Grupo Mexico, Assasin"

"Grupo México, owner of the owner of the Buenavista del Cobre copper mine in Cananea, is the largest mining company in Mexico and one of the top copper producers in the world. Through its subsidiaries it operates 13 mines in Mexico, Peru and the United States.
The company owns Tucson-based Asarco LLC, which operates the Silver Bell mine near Marana, the Mission mine near Sahuarita, the Ray mine near Kearny and a smelter in Hayden.
Although its mines also generate zinc, gold, silver and molybdenum, copper is king. In 2013, Grupo Mexico mines produced almost 800,000 tons of copper and the company reported a net profit of $1.8 billion off $9.3 billion in total sales." (AZ Daily Star, Oct. 4, 2014)

Protesting outside the water wells fields used by Grupo Mexico to supply the mine with water


"Unlikely allies: Mexican miners and farmers unite over toxic spill" by David Bacon, Aljazeera America April 15, 2015)


"CANANEA, Mexico — The pipes have gone silent. Gone is the hum of water flowing through them to the world’s second-largest copper mine, just south of the U.S. border. Instead, in the normally empty desert here, tents and buses line the highway. Dust and smoke from cooking fires fill the air while hundreds of people listen to speeches and discuss the day’s events.
 
This plantón, or occupation, which began on March 18, has shut down most operations at the Cananea mine, which consumes huge quantities of water pumped from 49 wells across the desert in order to extract copper concentrate from crushed ore.

Many of the people involved in the plantón are miners who have been on strike since 2008, when they walked out because of dangerous working conditions. Two years later, the government brought in 3,000 federal police, drove miners from the gates and occupied the town. Since then Cananea has been operated by contracted laborers recruited from distant parts of the country. But the strike has continued, as miners struggle to survive in this small mountain town where the mine is virtually the only source of work.

Now, for the first time in five years, the mine is again paralyzed. This time, strikers didn’t stop its operation by themselves. Half the people with them are farmers — residents of the Rio Sonora Valley, angry over a toxic spill that upended their lives last August, causing health problems and economic devastation.

People in the towns along the river used to have little involvement with the miners, but the spill gave them common ground. This alliance between miners and angry farmers also includes a U.S. union, the United Steel Workers. Together they are challenging the Mexican government’s fundamental rule for economic growth — that workers’ rights and environmental protections must be subordinate to the needs of corporate investors."

Click here to read the rest of David Bacon's article quoted above, "Unlikely allies: Mexican miners and farmers unite over toxic spill"

A view of Cananea's historic city center and the mine in the background.

A monument in Cananea----where the Mexican Revolution started in 1906


The office of National Miner's Union Local 65

left to right: Dr. Reina Castro, professor of marine biology at the University of Sonora; Antonio Garcia of the United Front of the Rio Sonora, and Sergio Tolano, general secretary of local 65 of the miner's union


photo above: The delivery of a letter at the U.S/MX border in Agua Prieta, Sonora, to President Barack Obama from residents of the Rio Sonora asking for humanitarian aid and for the U.S. to boycott Grupo México


The delegation of Rio Sonora residents and miners protest outside "Los Patos" where Grupo México has it's fresh water wells and where a larger protest and encampment shut down some mine operations in 2015.




AQUI HAY REPORTAJES QUE SALIERON EN MX SOBRE EL SEGUNDO ANIVERSARIO DEL DERRAME TOXICO DE CANANEA
http://proyectopuente.com.mx/2016/08/08/afectados-del-rio-sonora-piden-apoyo-humanitario-retirar-concesion-grupo-mexico-en-estados-unidos/

http://proyectopuente.com.mx/2016/08/08/presumen-afectaciones-a-la-salud-en-segundo-aniversario-del-derrame-toxico/



"The economy of Rio Sonora has hit rock bottom"

THE WEBSITE "Proyectoo Resilencia Desatada" (Resistance Unleashed) IS THE PLACE TO GO IF YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN CROSS BORDER SOLIDARITY WITH THOSE STRUGGLING FOR JUSTICE ON THE RIO SONORA!  click below!
Click Here for updates from the PROJECT RESISTANCE UNLEASHED and how to get involved in the struggle!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

BLACK LIVES MATTER VIGIL IN TUCSON, AZ 7-9-16: WHAT WE ALL NEED TO LEARN FROM THE BLM MOVEMENT

An amazing diversity of folks were present among the hundreds who turned out for the Black Lives Matter vigil and healing circle in Tucson, AZ. (Above immigrant rights leader Isabel Garcia addresses the crowd).)



If you didn't make it watch the video above produced by BPVN of the vigil---what everyone needs to learn from the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement!


 After the vigil a march was held through downtown Tucson and 4th Ave. bringing the chants of BLACK LIVES MATTER!
HANDS UP! DON'T SHOOT! to the crowds partying at the bars and restaurants.

While the news of the week was dominated by the killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the 5 police officers in Dallas---on July 8 Tucson police killed a mentally ill man, 28 yr-old Abraham Smith, they said was threatening them with a knife. After the killing his brother told the media "We’d like to get him into a mental ward. Not the morgue. A mental ward and now that’s what they’ve done. They shot him." (link to full report below)  

Tucson Police Kill Mentally Ill Man The Day Before the Tucson BLM vigil

Friday, June 17, 2016

THE MIGRANT TRAIL WALK IN ARIZONA; WALKING TO END THE DYING: 2004-2016

June 5, 2016--The walkers arrive in Tucson; temperature 110 degrees: many migrants perished in the extreme heat during the week the walk took place

 This video gives the background of the Migrant Trail Walk and includes photos from the first walk in 2004

 Why they do it: Over 6,000 have died attempting to cross the US/MX border. Hundreds more perish in the extreme heat and winter cold every year

 This video was made of the final day of the 2016 Migrant Trail Walk



 The first group of walkers in 2004 spent the first night at a shelter for migrants in Altar, Sonora, MX. The beginning of the Migrant Trail Walk in 2004 also coincided with the start of No More Deaths (nomoredeaths.org). Daniel Strauss, kneeling second from left, was arrested with Shanti Sellz the summer of 2005 while transporting migrants in medical distress as part of their work with No More Deaths. They were criminally prosecuted with the threat of long prison sentences but charges were eventually thrown out.


 In 2008 No More Deaths volunteer Dan Millis discovered the body of 14-year-old Josseline Hernandez, from El Salvador, who had succumbed to the cold as she traveling north to reunite with her mother already in the U.S. Tucson author Margaret Regan wrote "The Death of Josseline".



Finally this excellent documentary by J.M. Aragón "Presente, Inside The Migrant Trail Walk" about the second walk in 2005.

For more info about the Migrant Trail Walk including how to join the walk:  http://azmigranttrail.com/

Here's an excerpt from Margaret Regan's book"The Death of Josseline" that was printed in the Tucson Weekly  http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/the-death-of-josseline/Content?oid=1816192

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Atascosa Peak: Edward Abbey's old hangout and The May Day March in Tucson, AZ


Atascosa Fire Lookout near Nogales, AZ--Destroyed by fire in 2011--Edward Abbey was the lookout in the summer of 1968





The May Day March in Tucson 2016, Taking Over the Streets!













Monday, February 15, 2016

The Story of the Reyes Salazar Family From Mexico's Death Valley: Guadalupe, Chihuahua, in the Juarez Valley (PART 1 OF 3: POOR JUAREZ: SO FAR FROM GOD, SO CLOSE TO THE UNITED STATES


    Last family portrait taken of the entire Reyes Salazar family Christmas 2009, a few days later Josefina (in the middle) was    murdered. (photo from the video linked below)
FIVE YEARS AGO THIS MONTH The Reyes Salazar family buried their last three family members to die in Mexico; Siblings Magdalena and Elías Reyes and Elías's wife Luisa Ornelas were kidnapped in the Juárez Valley on Feb. 7, 2011 and their bodies dumped on the highway two weeks later. For the remaining family members this was the last straw, not only did they decide to all vacate their homes in the town of Guadalupe but after having six relatives murdered they knew they had to leave Mexico. The Reyes Salazar were, and still are, good friends of mine. I got to know them well from my participation in a long struggle to defeat a proposed nuclear waste dump on the Texas border--they helped lead the opposition to the dump in the Juárez Valley-- This is the second Hobo Dispatch report about them, including video footage of my first return to Guadalupe in seventeen years in Sept. 2015.
Watch this 15 minute video "We Bake Bread With Our Hands; We Denounce Injustice With Our Words: The Story of the Reyes Salazar Family" and travel to Guadalupe to see what has become of their beloved hometown.



Click here to read Melissa del Bosque's great 2012 article "The Deadliest Place in Mexico" written after she visited Guadalupe


CLICK HERE TO READ 2011 HOBO DISPATCH POST ABOUT THE REYES SALAZAR FAMILY AND THE CARAVAN FOR PEACE WITH JAVIER SICILIA

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

More from Sonora, Mexico: Quince Time, A Classic Printing Press, and the Singing Beekeeper

Each fall brings the quince harvest (membrillo) in northern Sonora. Membrillo is perhaps the state's official fruit. The Magdalena baseball team is even named the Membrilleros. Check out this video of a family in San Ignacio making the cajeta de membrillo (quince jelly bricks):
 
Check out this historic machinery still in use at a print business in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora!
      Impresos @ssi       @ssi Print Shop

And listen to Freddie Terry, the singing beekeeper from Oracle, AZ, perform his original music about Sonora to the folks at the Asilo San Antonio in Magdalena (community home for seniors and those with disabilities)
  
 and here's Freddie performing at Magdalena's first Festival of Books held in November 2015

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Doña Olga Cañez of Imuris, Sonora, MX: Medicinal Plants, Cabezas, and the Best Beans in Mexico

Doña Olga is one of my favorite people in the whole world. I stop by her place in Imuris, Sonora every chance I get to enjoy a fabulous plate of beans and tortillas and a hot cup of coffee. She has had a great life, though hard at times, and can share about the days her family traveled around in a wagon from town to town. She was part of the pajarero culture in her youth (a mix of indigenous and gypsy traditions). She is a wealth of information on medicinal plants and other things. Here are a couple of recent videos of her so meet Doña Olga. You will even be served a plate of hot beans--ENJOY!

 
In the video below Doña Olga shows some of the medicinal plants she sells and explains what they can be used for.

Here's a Hobo Dispatch post from 2013 which also featured Doña Olga and her brother Genio and others plus beautiful reflections on Mexico from the diary of Anais Nin:

Click here to read more about Doña Olga in the Hobo Dispatch 

IN MEMORY OF KIKO AND CHAVITO, DONA OLGA'S LOYAL COMPANIONS WHO HAVE PASSED ON SINCE THIS VIDEO WAS MADE.