In times of environmental and climatic emergency, the defense of the world’s rainforests becomes a global responsibility. The ecological role of these ecosystems is fundamental for the planetary balance and key to diminish the impacts of global changes, including climate change. Among many other functions, rainforests are large reservoirs of fresh water, as well as they can fix higher quantities of CO2 in comparison to other territories. It is clear that preventing the disappearance of these megabiodiverse regions of the planet is essential for a sustainable future. Moreover, the right to a different form of existence and the self-determination of the indigenous people who have inhabited and cared for these rainforests for thousands of years, cannot be negotiated. We cannot allow that the limitless desire for enrichment of a privileged minority and the excessive demands of materials on the industrial society to serve as excuses to destroy such a valuable heritage. The depletion of resources is not solved by extracting more until the whole planet is exhausted, but by consuming less and recycling the materials that have already been used.
On this occasion, it is the Chimalapas rainforest located in southern Mexico (Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca) that is threatened by, among other things, open-pit mining mega-projects. These extractive activities would generate enormous environmental impacts in one of the places with the greatest biodiversity on the planet, altering thousands of hectares of rainforest and contaminating the important bodies of fresh water that exist in this territory that reaches 594,000 hectares of communal property.
In response to this reality, we demand to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico:
- That the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources of the Mexican Government definitively deny the exploration permit for the mining megaproject called “Santa Marta”, promoted by the Canadian company Minaurum Gold Coper.
- That the Secretary of Economy of the Government of Mexico does not grant the four applications for mining concessions that are in process, that will cover approximately 107,383.63 hectares (although it would affect a bigger area) from where they intend to extract gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb).
- That the Mexican government and international organizations respect and recognize the inalienable rights of communal ownership of the territory (including the subsoil) by the Zoque indigenous people (Angpøn) who have inhabited and cared for the Chimalapas rainforest for thousands of years.
- That the Government of Mexico and international organizations articulate the necessary measures for the recognition of the ecological and biocultural values of this territory, and for its effective protection, thus assuring the life of the Zoque indigenous people of Chimalapas.
In this way we express our support and international solidarity with the defense of the territory of the Zoque people, because to save the Chimalapas forest is to take another step in the defense of the planet, life and humanity.
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