Sep 24, 2009

The Places Help Has to Come From

Today I heard a good news in the radio. I was on my way to the office, early morning, as usual, when the news presentator said that a plea had been filed by the Nicaraguan Government to stop the mining project conducted by Infinito Industries at Crucitas, San Carlos. The plea contenied the expert opinion of environmental professionals from the Humboldt Center and the Fundación del Río, and indicated that the poisoning of the waters, product of the mining, would affect around 400 communities on both sides of the San Juan river, a river that separates Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Learning that the plea was accepted by our Representatives unanimouly made me smile: there's hope, a bit of hope for Crucitas. Won't go into fighting now for the destroyed lands, the cut threes that won't grow back again, the Green Lapa's that lost their home, their food, right now I just want to smile, smile for five minutes and life that sweet moment of victory.

But when the moment is gone, anger cames back for the injustice, for the demeaning of our Representatives, the disrespectful way our people is treated, the way our most sensible sectors, our most humble brothers and sisters are blackmailed for a loaf of bread they may or may not receive, the humiliation of buying them with trinkets, stepping over their dignity, mocking them, ridiculing them if they dare to speak up or even pose a question. It takes away hope when you realize that you don't need to be qualified about a topic to be heard, you have to agree, you have to have their sympathies, and then it doesn't matter whether what you say is true or a blatant lie, it will be accepted and celebrated.

When I was small, I remember we learned in school that though Costa Rica had some gold, some silver and a little of low quality brent, it wasn't worth mining, particularly because the richness of our forests, de huge biodiversity was far more valuable. What has changed since then? From what I know, another gold mine was set in Miramar, Puntarenas. The people of the surrounding villages were also bought into the lie of "job opportunities" and all kinds of development, but after a few months of functioning the mine was abandoned because a side of it collapsed and poisoned water sources. A landscape that could have produced a lot of income from tourism was permanently destroyed, water supplies destroyed, farming lands and pastures lost forever, for a project that benefited those who already have a lot.

Please, take a look at the latest picture I uploaded. The first was a picture of the remainings of an old Secoya three, this last one is a picture of the "State-of-Art", "top technology" Miramar mine that would bring prosperity to the communities around. The situation became more critical since then, with less places for those left behind to go. Ironically the Star Engineer and Planner of this ultra-modern and highly environment friendly mine is the Star Engineer and Planner of Crucitas, and though the catastrofic results of his job lay in plain sight, his "professional opinion" is far more important than that of tens of biologists and technicians from our universities, from recognized organizations.

I hope we can stop this horrendous violation of our land and our civil rights, however, unless our people wakes up and corruption is haltered somehow, I don't see how can we make sure to be heard next time.

No comments: