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Mexican armed forces used against peaceful protest at Excellon mine

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30 August, 2012Approximately 100 soldiers and officers of the Mexican Army and Federal and state police agencies used force on 29 August to break through the peaceful protest taking place, in front of the La Platosa mine, owned by a subsidiary of Excellon Resources, Inc. in Durango.

The community (the Ejido) and Local 309 of the National Miners’ and Metalworkers’ Union (SNTMMSSRM) began the peaceful camp of 100 men, women and children in front of the mine on 8 July 2012 demanding that the company comply with the land rental agreement signed between the two parties in 2008. The workers are also demanding that Excellon and the government guarantee their right to freedom of association.

The local community has made several attempts to negotiate with the company with the support of federal and state government representatives through mediation.

The last meeting took place on 13 August in the offices of the Federal Secretary of Government in Mexico City. In that meeting, Excellon walked away from the table in the first five minutes claiming that it would not negotiate until the blockade was lifted.

In this same roundtable, the federal representative, Jorge Triana, stated that he was “as outraged as the Ejido members by Excellon’s failure to negotiate”. In the same meeting, the Durango state representative, Jaime Fernández Saracho, recognized the Ejido’s open willingness to resolve the conflict.

The federal and state governments reversed their position on 29 August. Along with federal prosecutors, more than 100 soldiers and police forces pressured and intimidated the landowners and workers to let company representatives enter the mine.

For more background see: http://www.prodesc.org.mx/2012/08/press-release-august-29th-2012/