The following is a communication from the Nicaraguan campaign group ACAFREMIN. They are supporting the community of Santa Cruz de la India, who have been opposing a proposed gold mine from UK registered Condor Gold. An open letter on the issue, signed by London Mining Network among others, can be viewed here. It appears that international solidarity has assisted in ensuring community leaders who are opposed to the company’s activities will not be prosecuted.
Condor Gold desists from prosecuting community leaders opposed to La India mining project in Nicaragua
16 July 2017
Last month we asked for your support to denounce the legal intimidation tactics utilised by UK based Condor Gold to bully community members opposed to La India mining project in the community of Santa Cruz de la India, Nicaragua. Today we are happy to announce that thanks to local and international pressure, the company has desisted from prosecuting seven community leaders that could have spent up to five years in jail for charges that were fabricated by company employees.
A press release issued by Condor Gold claims that charges were withdrawn as a result of negotiations with local community leaders, but the National Environmentalist Movement against Mining denies the claim.
“We would like to state that the withdrawal of the charges by the company had nothing to do with negotiations or extra-judicial mediation as the company claims” reads a statement issued by the organization.
Community members of Santa Cruz de la India are convinced that their victory is the result of months of organising picket lines, school strikes, national mobilisations and international actions against the company.
“What these actions from the company have done is to unify and strengthen our community even more, and we demonstrated this many times as we marched to the court with support from many people from different parts of the country who came to show solidarity with us… eventually, both the company and the government realised they were acting illegally ” says Olman Salazar, one of the leaders charged by the company.
This legal victory that has forced the company to scale back its campaign of harassment against community members is a very significant first victory, but the fight is far from over. The Santa Cruz de la India communal movement has a laid out a set of demands from the company and the Nicaraguan government that are yet to be met. As the Central American Alliance against mining we are committed to continue to support the community Of Santa Cruz de la India in this struggle to Condor Gold out of their territory.
We would like to thank the support of your organisation and at the same time we ask that you stay attentive as we continue to generate calls for solidarity on their behalf.