The original communities of the Salinas Grandes Basin and the Guayatayoc Lagoon, areas considered "sacred territory of the original peoples", stood firm for three days to prevent mining companies from continuing their lithium search tasks.
A historic achievement
The mining companies A.I.S Resources Ltd and Ekeko S.A began their activities with the authorization of the Government of Jujuy after participating in Bidder Contest No. 1/2018 “for geological prospecting, exploration and feasibility of mining project in the exclusive areas of interest of J.E.M.S.E. Jujuy, Energy and Mining, State Society. "
Given the lack of response from the companies and the government to the claims and in order to interrupt the activity of the mining companies, more than 300 families from the assembly of the Kolla de Jujuy People went to National Route 52, the main access to the tourist walk de las Salinas and made a cut to inform tourists of the environmental danger posed by mining
"Seriously affecting the soil, flora, fauna and fresh water tables in the center of the lagoon" and the nearby communities.
The Assembly of communities expressed that they will no longer accept "prior and informed consultation" (which is a constitutional requirement to consult indigenous communities in order to advance projects on their lands), since the government uses this mechanism in an apparent way to achieve the “consent” of extractive projects in the territory. And they added “that the government knows once and for all that we are not going to accept any exploration or exploitation of lithium mining and that there is no going back, that it is not calling small tables or meetings to convince leaders. And if another company tries to enter, we will take a position and we will remove them.
At the end of the Conference and "as a necessary step to reaffirm their self-determination in achieving good living in their territory" the Communities present declared the Salinas Grandes Basin and Laguna de Guayatayoc, "Natural Cultural and Ancestral Heritage of the original Peoples" , and urged other communities to join.
They demanded that the Jujuy and national governments declare the area "free of mega-mining, lithium mining and any other extractive project that the communities consider to harm the Pachamama and violate the ancestral way of life and violate the rights recognized by the constitution. national and ILO Convention 169 and international treaties ”.
The cancellation of the authorizations to the companies Ekeko SA and AIS Resources Limited was also raised and the environmental remediation of the mining liabilities left by the exploration was demanded, as well as the cancellation of the bidding contest of Jemse Exp. 660-538 / 2018 for the "Geological prospecting, exploration and feasibility of mining projects in Salinas Grandes, Laguna de Guayatayoc and Salar de Jama" and any other lithium project "because the communities decided definitively No to the exploration and extraction of lithium in our territory.
Declarations that will be law for the Communities present, and they hope that more communities will adhere:
1- THE SALINAS GRANDES BASIN AND LAGUNA DE GUAYATAYOC IS ANCESTRAL AND NATURAL CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE ORIGINATING PEOPLES to guarantee their care, conservation and protection, so that no mega-mining project is developed in our territory.
2- We demand that the governors of the provincial and national state DECLARE THE ZONE FREE OF MEGAMINERY, lithium mining and any other extractive project that the communities consider that damages the Pachamama and threatens the ancestral way of life and violates the recognized rights by the National Constitution and Convention 169 of the ILO and international treaties.
3- The communities here present DEMAND THE CANCELLATION OF THE AUTHORIZATIONS TO THE COMPANIES Ekeko SA and AIS Resources Limited (which were expelled by the communities from the territory on the date of this date). We also demand the ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION of the mining liabilities left by exploration.
4- We demand the CANCELLATION OF THE BIDDING CONTEST of Jemse Exp. 660-538 / 2018 for the “Geological prospecting, exploration and feasibility of mining projects in Salinas Grandes, Laguna de Guayatayoc and Salar de Jama”. And of any other lithium project, because the communities DEFINITELY DECIDE: NO TO THE EXPLORATION AND EXTRACTION OF LITHIUM in our territory.
Despite this achievement, the communities remain in a state of Alert and mobilization, they will resume actions next week until the government publicly annuls the Jemse Bidder Competition.
LIFE AND WATER ARE WORTH MORE THAN LITHIUM -PERMANENT ASSEMBLY OF THE SALINAS GRANDES BASIN AND LAGUNA DE GUAYATAYOC, FEBRUARY 08, 2019 ″
With information from: