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News > Argentina

Argentines Reject Mega-Mining in Chubut Province

  • The sign reads,

    The sign reads, "No to mega-mining, water is worth more than gold", Esquel, Argentina, May. 9, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @NoalaminaEsquel

Published 12 May 2021

Over 30,000 people signed an initiative seeking to prohibit mining activity in the region. The local parliament, however, rejected the petition for the second time.

Argentineans in the Esquel municipality maintain blockades and peaceful protests for six consecutive days to reject mega-mining in the Chubut province. 


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The Union of Community Assemblies of Chubut (UACCh) called for mobilizations after the local legislature decided to reject a popular initiative (IP) that sought to forbid mega-mining in the region.

The activists carried out a blockade on national route 40 and the occupation of Esquel townhall to also condemn an urbanization project promoted by Chubut Governor Mariano Arcioni.

The UACCh maintains that mining activities will contaminate soil and affect the Chubut River, which supplies major cities in the province. 

The meme reads, "Chubut is mobilized since Mariano Arcioni managed to reject the Popular Initiative. After arrests on Route 3, 2,000 people demonstrated in Trelew on Sunday. The marches multiplied."

On May 6, Chubut's parliament ruled out by 13 votes against 12 and two abstentions the IP project, which had the signing of over 30,000 voters accredited before the Electoral Tribunal. 

It is the second IP rejected by local lawmakers since a similar bill was presented in 2014. The initiative was aimed at prohibiting large-scale mining activity in all its stages to avoid the use of any polluting, toxic or dangerous chemical substance.

"Every mobilization showed rejection of the mining re-urbanization project. Lawmakers are more in favor of the companies than of the people... With this decision, the mining lobbies win, and we lose," Workers' Party member Santiago Vasconcelos said.

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