Seven indigenous communities, in the fight against extractivism and for their territories, had presented, in December 2021, a collective protection against the government of the province of Rio Negroby environmental and cultural damageregarding mining activity, particularly metals, Ivael Mining, the Australian company that in April of that year it had obtained the endorsement of the Rio Negro state to operate in Mapuche territories (Pilquiniyeu del Limay, Ñorquinco, Cañadon Chileno, Colan Conhue, Blancura Centro, Mencue and Laguna Blanca). By July of that year, the province had already granted a total of 10 prospecting and exploration permits to Ivael Mining, in a wide area of the mountain range and in the South Region: 50,500 hectares, from Los Menucos to Pilcaniyeu and Ñorquinco, in the south of the province. This was denounced at that time by the communities that were in a state of alert and mobilization. The province of San Juan is the base of Ivael Mining.
Judge Muscillo ordered the province of Río Negro to implement the consultation with the native communities in order to obtain free, prior and informed consent regarding mining projects in their territories, as indicated in the IACHR ruling.#Noalamegamineria pic.twitter.com/8jna51009b
— Alhue B. Gavuzzo (@AlhueBG) July 26, 2023
This being the case, today the Australian mining company will have to see what it does with the social and judicial brake imposed by the mobilized communities, since the past July 24, the intervening judge Marcelo Muscillo (Substitute Judge), finally upheld the Mapuche request based on article 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO). A Judicial failure which is important because prohibits any mining exploration until there is a prior consultation that gives the consent of the community on the territory. As in Chubut, the Mapuche people of Río Negro demonstrated that neither governments nor companies have a social license to attack.
Judicial Ruling by The Daily Left on Scribd
Among the resolutions of the ruling are that of ordering “to the Province of Río Negro to establish a consultation mechanism with the native communities presented here, aimed at obtaining their free, prior and informed consent, with respect to each of the mining projects that are applied in the territories occupied by them”; “Order the prohibition to proceed with any exploration, prospecting, search or exploitation within said community territories until the process established in point I has not been completed” y “Order the Province of Río Negro to prohibit the granting of mining exploration, prospecting, prospecting or exploitation permits within the territory of the plaintiff Mapuche Communities, until the ordered consultations are completed”.
We know that it is the same justice that has been criminalizing all these years the claims of native peoples as in Jujuy and before with jail, as we saw the Mapuche women imprisoned in Bariloche. That is why it is important to closely monitor compliance with the ruling and continue supporting the claims of the native communities for the territory and against extractivism.