Source : http://derechodelpueblo.blogspot.com/2016/04/comunicado-del-comite-para-la-defensa.html
(Translated by Emma Strenski, a CSN Volunteer Translator, Edited by John Laun)
Tuesday April 19, 2016
Communication of the Committee for the Defense of Water and the Santurban Páramo (unique mountain ecosystem found between 3,000 to 5,000 meters above sea level).
In response to the declarations of the company ECO ORO, with the support of some leeches from Grand Mining, open pit mining, in the páramo.
• The threats from the multi-national mining company ECO ORO to sue the Colombian State for the issuing of the Ruling C-035/16. In this ruling, the Constitutional Court reaffirmed the protection of the páramo and essential ecosystems which provide water for more than 70% of the Colombian population.
• ECO ORO only has permission to explore; this exploration is not a sufficient condition of approval for a license to mine. The open pit mining license was revoked from ECO ORO in 2011. Besides, on the topic of the environment, there are no acquired rights.
• We support the mayor of Bucaramanga, Rodolfo Hernandez, in his promise to prohibit mining in the páramo and defend water in Santurban. We have made it clear to the public that we intend to keep our promise to defend small-scale, traditional mining in the Vetas and California municipalities through technological retrofitting, provided that protocols are tightened and the miners use good management.
• We demand that the multinational mining companies immediately leave the Santurban páramo and avoid contamination of the hydraulic system which provides water for this ecosystem of more than 2,000,000 inhabitants in the Santander and Norte de Santander.
• The Colombian Constitution determines the functions and powers of the Inspector General. We do not understand how Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez, who has lived in Bucaramanga, drinking the water in Santurban, is supervising a discussion to support the small mines without addressing the indiscriminate manner in which the government granted licenses to the multinational corporations in Santurban.
• We will bring together the people from the metropolitan area of Bucaramanga to toast our unconditional support for the Honorable Constitutional Court. We toast their courageous attitude to protect the páramos, by means of the abovementioned ruling (Sentence C-035/16), and to secure the right to water for present and future generations of Colombians.
Water YES—Gold NO!
Bucaramanga, April 18, 2016