Ejido El Bajío & Fresnillo AGM Press Kit
Fresnillo PLC’s Soledad-Dipolos gold mine has been the subject of a decade of struggle. In that time, there have been 3 murders, 1 disapearance and 67 Agricultural Tribunal rulings linked to the mine. Although it was ordered to close in 2014, violence and struggle continue to this day.
Here we present background information and voices from those in Mexico resisting Fresnillo ahead of the company’s AGM on 17 May.
As Fresnillo’s 2022 London AGM approaches and the compnay plans to re-open the Soledad Dipolos mine next year, communuity members and international campaigners have come together in the capital to challenge the company and demand justice.
Background Information & Timeline
Fresnillo Plc is a mining company based in Mexico. Since 2008, its shares have been traded on the London Stock Exchange.
Soledad-Dipolos de Minera Penmont, a subsidiary of the Fresnillo Group, is an open-pit gold mine, which has operated since 2010 on communal land in El Bajío, in the northeast of the State of Sonora. The Fresnillo Group has historically been led by Alberto Bailléres, one of the richest men in the country. Bailleres’s fortune amounts to about 9.2 billion dollars.
Life is Worth More Than Gold
Read the full background report “Life is Worth More than Gold”
Penmont mining company begins its explorations in Sonora.
Penmont mining company opens the Soledad-Dipolos mine. The first case is brought against the mine, alledging that the land was never properly signed over.
Agrarian Court No. 28 rules in favor of the community. The company begins to illegally exploit the territory.
the community manages to stop illegal mining activity with the support of the Federal Police. The community files 67 agrarian disputes against Fresnillo.
The Agrarian Court rules in favor of the 67 parties and rules that the company must vacate the occupied land, return the extracted gold to the owners of the Ejido and repair damage caused. The company refuses to comply.
José de Jesús Robledo Cruz – president of the Ejido – speaks before the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection about illegal gold extraction.
Clashes break out in the Ejido. Robledo Cruz & his wife are arrested and alledgedly tortured. 6 community members are kidnapped and 3 vehicles burned.
In February, community member Raúl Ibarra de la Paz disapears and Noemí López Gutierrez is murdered. Journalists who attempt to cover the incident report being threatened by secuirty staff linked to the mine.
In April, José de Jesús Robledo Cruz and his María de Jesús Gómez Vega are murdered. Their bodies are found with a list of 13 community members who have led the fight against the mining company.
Fresnillo holds its AGM in London. Documents show that it plans to reopen the Soledad-Dipolos mine despite the legal rulings and violence.
Video Material – Voices from Mexico
Photo Gallery – Images from the film Tolvanera
London Mining Network
London Mining Network (LMN) is an alliance of human rights, development, environmental and solidarity groups.
We work for
- human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples and workers, and
- sustainable development (development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs)
in communities around the world affected by the activities of mining companies based in or funded from London
A demonstration will take place outside of the Fresnillo PLC AGM (The Royal Aeronautical Society, 4 Hamilton Place, London W1J 7BQ) on 17 May at 9:30.
Press and photographers are welcome to attend.
or call 07928 443248
All photo credits: Angel Melgoza.