Monday, April 27, 2009

Barrick advances

Confirming that its veto on the law of the glaciers was the veto of Barrick Gold, the President received a few days ago the boss of Canadian mining. M. Bonasso.

his veto to the law of the glaciers was the veto of Barrick Gold, the president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner received a few days ago to the Canadian mining boss, Peter Munk, a partner and protector of the arms dealer Adnan Kassoghi, known for his involvement in the scandal known as Iran-Contra who stood to cost him the presidency Ronald Reagan.

In the audience was present CEO of Barrick, Aaron Regent, who had visited the governor in February in San Juan, José Luis Gioja, so obvious to make the appointment with the first president to accelerate the binational mining project Pascua Lama, questioned in Chile and Argentina by the damaging effect it can have on the glaciers and periglacial areas of the Andes, which constitute the main drinking water supply in both countries.

The idea is that in May will conduct a meeting with the Chilean-Argentine presence of Michelle Bachelet and Cristina and begin operations in September of this giant gold mine opencast project Barrick largest in South America, which involve an investment of about three billion dollars.

At the meeting in question were the greatest promoters of the veto to the law of glaciers: Gioja governor and secretary of the National Mining, Jorge Mayoral. Both closely linked with the mining industry.

The appointment with the President bare the close link with the second mining world and reveals that the objections raised by the executive, explaining the veto, were quite rhetorical. The decree of veto would carry out a forum with the participation of governors and legislators of the Andean provinces "in order to achieve a greater consensus and act with greater respect for provincial autonomy. A curious argument that if the law in question was passed unanimously in both houses of Congress. In fact, there was only one session late last year and early this, but not any of these meetings came the bill.

Neither Senator Daniel Filmus, who presided until a few days ago the Senate Environmental Committee, reached consensus to draft a law promised better.

The discussions, however, exist. On March 30 last, in my capacity as chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources and Human Environment of the House of Representatives, convened jointly with the then-Ombudsman, Eduardo Mondino, a public hearing at which the world exposed persons representatives of various scientific and environmental organizations and neighborhood. He spoke, among others, Nobel Prize winner and co-chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change United Nations, Osvaldo Canziani, who defended the law vetoed, born of an initiative of the deputy mandate fulfilled Marta Maffei. An identical project, my responsibility, is currently pending. Is counterbalanced by another's Deputy Juan Carlos Gioja, brother of the governor and senator and businessman Cesar Ambrosio Gioja mining. Gioja MP seeks to remove the protection of the periglacial areas of strategic importance with regard to water resources.

Outside of Congress receive intensive discussions between those who believe that water is more important than gold and that subordinate their policy interests. In San Juan, where political power is completely subordinate to the transnational mining took place in these days the Forum for Protection of Andean Ecosystems and glaciers, that called the Union of Citizen Assemblies (UAC). In parallel, the government and the San Juan mining entrepreneurs conducted their own forito, to minimize the impact of the meeting organized by supporters of the environment.

In this area there were very suggestive arguments, like that of Ricardo Martinez, president of the San Juan Chamber of Mines, who came to say quote: "All are periglacial Andes and that is where everything gets complicated. Just as is the entire project activity is restricted to the Cordillera look and not touch us. If you leave the law as it is, forget to mining. "

At the public hearing held in Congress, insisted until enough that the law was not vetoed a bill antiminera but a law that protects the glaciers. If the enterprises do not destroy or pollute mine which is our greatest source of drinking water, are alien to the spirit of the rule. If there are no glaciers San Juan, why worry then? And if so, should we agree to predation for the benefit of a big transnational?

The visit of Mr. Munk to clarify the issue. Starting with the curriculum of the visitor and his claim, outlined in the meeting, obtain a tax advantage to supplement the privileges already granted by the laws that the governor pergeñó Gioja Menemist deputy when he was in the 90s.

According to journalist Greg Palast, the British newspaper The Guardian, Munk founded Barrick money with arms dealer Adnan Kassoghi and was the guarantor of that crime when he was taken prisoner in the United States by fraud related to the regime of former Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Palast, who the lawsuit, Barrick Gold tried unsuccessfully demonstrated that not only transnational environmental damage had occurred in various places on Earth, but also had been responsible, together with the Tanzania police for the murder of fifty-miners. Not surprisingly, in a company directory in which the presence of "influential" as the former CIA director and former U.S. president George Bush senior and the richest man in Chile, Andronico Luksic, and leader staunch Pinochet monopolistic group known as "crocodiles".

Unfortunately, all we have been denouncing in these columns has proved absolutely true and verifiable. Hopefully it is not what we now say that Gioja, the president and Barrick Gold will do everything possible to ensure that no law of glaciers, rather than transnational dynamite start spraying the Andes from San Juan.

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