El valiente pueblo Soamahamanina, un nombre que podría traducirse como “el hermoso lugar que siempre amaremos” está situado 70 kilómetros al oeste de Antananarivo, capital de Madagascar. Una empresa china había obtenido allá una concesión para minería de oro. Algunas personas estaban dispuestas a arrendar su tierra, pero la amplia mayoría se oponía a la idea con gran fuerza porque su tierra ancestral es sagrada y en ningún caso estarían dispuestos a estropearla y contaminarla …
Cuando los chinos llegaron con su maquinaria listos para ir a trabajar, encontraron gente determinada a oponerse a ellos … y esto se prolongó durante semanas, con manifestaciones a veces violentamente reprimidas por la policía … pero en vano … Como el asunto fue fuertemente expuesto por los medios de comunicación, el Ministro de Minas de Madagascar decidió retraer el permiso para “asegurar la estabilidad de la zona.” Los aldeanos todavía no creían en la victoria y se mantendran vigilantes y activos. Tienen razón en ser cauteloso: técnicamente, la industria china todavía tiene la licencia para operar y las personas encarceladas porque protestaron aun no han sido liberados.. Videos y fotos disponibles aquí: https://www.facebook.com/soamahamanina/
Originally posted by the ICCA Consortium. 24 October 2016.
The courageous village of Soamahamanina, a name that could be translated as “the beautiful place which we will always love”, is located 70km west of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. A Chinese company had obtained a mining concession for gold. Some people were willing to lease their land, but the large majority opposed the idea with great force, as their ancestral land is sacred and there is no question the disrupt it and contaminate it…
When the Chinese arrived on the scene with their machines ready to get to work, they found people determined to stop them… and this went on for weeks, with demonstrations at times violently repressed by the police… but in vain… As the matter was heavily exposed by the media, the Malagasy Minister of Mines decided to retract the permit ” to ensure the stability of the area. ” On site, the villagers would still not believe in the victory and will remain vigilant and active. They are right to be cautious: technically, the Chinese industry still has the license to operate and the people jailed following protests have not been released.
Videos and pictures available here: https://www.facebook.com/soamahamanina/
Read more in this news report from News 24:
Madagascar protests halt activity at Chinese gold mine
Soamahamanina – A Chinese firm said on Friday it had suspended work at its gold mine in Madagascar after a series of protests by local residents.
“The company wants to pull out so that calm and security can return to the town of Soamahamanina,” said Stella Andriamamonjy, the spokesperson for the firm, Jiuxing Mines, which operates the gold mine in the town to the west of the capital.
She stressed that, “given the investments already made,” the halt was a temporary “sacrifice” to appease local sentiments.
On Friday, an AFP journalist saw that the company’s excavators and trucks had been removed from the site.
The mine was officially opened in May and employs 11 Madagascan and 20 Chinese workers full time.
Jiuxing Mines has a 40-year permit to mine gold at the site.
Since June, locals have held protests every Thursday, claiming that the mine has ruined their land and calling for the Chinese company to leave.
In late September, protesters clashed with police.
“We hope the state will suggest solutions so we can find common ground with the local population. We hope to be able to start afresh and correct the errors of the past,” said Andriamamonjy.
“We will do our best to set up local projects – because that is what the people want — before really embarking on mining proper,” she added.
One of the conditions of Jiuxing Mines’ licence was that it build roads, electrify the town, renovate one health centre and build another one.