Nov 092010

Source: World War 4 Report

On Oct. 22 three Costa Rican environmental activists marked two weeks on hunger strike against the projected Las Crucitas open-pit gold mine in San Carlos in the north of the country. Some 14 activists from two organizations, the North Front Against Mining and the Not One Mine Coordinating Committee, began the action on Oct. 8 in an encampment in front of the Presidential Residence in San José. Most of the 14 ended their fast for medical reasons but continued to support the three remaining strikers.

The activists were demanding the cancellation of Environment and Energy Ministry executive decree 34-8001 of 2008, in which former president Oscar Arias (1986-1990 and 2006-2010) declared the mine a matter of “national interest.” This eased the way for permits which were given out “in proceedings considered irregular, especially in respect to the truthfulness of environmental impact studies,” according to the Ecological Action Network (Renace), a Costa Rican organization in solidarity with the hunger strikers.

Activists say that the mining operation will destroy 200 hectares of forest and that the use of cyanide in gold extraction will contaminate two aquifers and affect the San Juan River, which marks the border with Nicaragua. According to Renace, 90% of Costa Rica’s population opposes the project.

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