Authorities from the indigenous community of Capulálpam de Méndez, Oaxaca, announced that they won a writ of amparo in a case against a Canadian-owned mining company operating in the town.
Communal representative and Mayor Carlos Ramón Martínez Pablo said that the town sued for amparo (protection of constitutional rights) in 2015, claiming that the company had obtained permits to exploit local mineral and precious metal deposits from the federal Secretariat of Economy without first consulting the community.
“The ruling recognizes that the indigenous community was founded before the Mexican state and therefore has the right to federal justice as established in the second article of the constitution,” Martínez said.
He added that the ruling confirmed that the mining company, Continuum Resources Mexico, also violated International Labor Organization regulations dealing with the rights of indigenous communities.
Released along with the judicial ruling was an order for closure of the mine issued by the federal environmental protection agency.
Capulálpam de Méndez, one of Mexico’s 121 Pueblos Mágicos, or Magical Towns, is located in the Sierra Juárez mountain range in the north of Oaxaca.
The region’s varied vegetation zones, including extensive tracts of cloud forests, have contributed to Mexico’s being ranked among the world’s 17 megadiverse countries by Conservation International.
The head of Capulálpam’s office of communal goods, Netzar Arreortua, said that over 50 kilometers of mining construction in the area, including tunnels and shafts, have drained nearly all of the region’s aquifers, a fact that has been verified by the National Water Commission.
According to Archivaldo Santos, spokesperson for the Oaxacan Territory Defense Collective, there are over 330 active mining concessions in the state that were authorized without due process during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto and which are being fought in court.
Source: Milenio (sp)