The Human Rights Defense Commission (CODDEHUM) of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero is investigating a Jan. 25 police operation that removed 60 workers and campesinos who were blocking the Los Filos gold mine near the community of Carrizalillo in Eduardo Neri municipality. CODDEHUM president Juan Alarcon noted that a commission representative went to the mine and asked the police to show their court order to remove the protesters; the agents admitted they didn’t have one.
Several hundred workers and local residents began blocking the mine on Jan. 8 to demand that the mine pay the community about $4.2 million a year to compensate for environmental damage. Since then management has fired 36 workers, including several underage adolescents, for their part in the blockade. The mine is owned by Luismin, the Mexican mining division of the Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc. On Feb. 1 Luismin representatives warned state officials that if the protests didn’t end in a week, the company would leave the state. But the company reportedly has plans for intensive mining in the area over the next 20 years, which will level entire hills to extract as much as nine tons of gold a year. (La Jornada, Feb. 2, 5, 13 from correspondent, 9 from Notimex)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Feb. 18