|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
|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
|"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!
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