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Based on a study by the University of Cuyo, residents warned that the Barrick Gold multinational deposit in San Juan would have suffered an incident even more serious than the one that occurred in 2015, when at least one million liters of water was spilled with cyanide to the river. Analysis carried out last February indicates that heavy metal values are even higher than at that time.
Neighbors of the Jáchal No se Toca Assembly denounced that the Veladero mine in San Juan would have starred in a new heavy metal spill in February 2019, once again poisoning the water in the region. The data comes from a study carried out last month on the river that runs through the city by the National University of Cuyo and commissioned by the Municipality of Jáchal, whose results show the presence of values highly higher than normal in various elements, including mercury and aluminum.
“Last February, unusual values were detected in the Jáchal river in various elements, the numbers of copper, chromium, manganese, nickel, lead, zinc, arsenic, boron being very high; and above all, aluminum and mercury ”, warns a statement published by the assembly through social networks. And add:"Once again, the state of the water shows that a new spill reached the river, there is no other explanation."
The spills have been repeated in the mine of the multinational Barrick Gold, for a long time, with serious consequences for both the environment and the population. However, the alarm of these incidents generally arises from the neighbors themselves in the face of government silence and the lack of official information. This time, there has also been no official communication regarding the situation so far: “They concealed another spill in February 2019. Yes, again, only that the government's and mining's concealment machinery seems to be working better. But the truth always comes to light in some way, this time again through the observation of the analyzes whose copies are so difficult for us to obtain despite being ours ”, they expressed from the Jáchal No Se Toca Assembly.
One of the largest mining accidents in the country, which had a great impact, occurred precisely in Veladero in September 2015, when at least one million liters of cyanide solution and other heavy metals poisoned the rivers in the area. As reported by the neighborhood assembly, the values detected a month ago exceed those at that time.
“In the spill that 'escaped' them in September 2015, 0.0012 milligrams of mercury were detected per liter of water in La Palca (…). Normally, 0.0002 is detected. Now, in February 2019, 0.0013 was detected. More than in the 2015 spill. Mercury gives them away, just like aluminum, which should be at 0.0005 for aquatic life that has always existed in the area, or a maximum of 5mg for agricultural irrigation and livestock and now has 92mg " , they express in the statement.
From the Jáchal No Se Toca Assembly they claim against the political-business impunity in the face of the pollution suffered by the communities and affirm: “We are here, denouncing and repudiating, pointing out that the havoc does not stop, that we should not get used to it, that they come for more, that they come for everything. That the people, the river, the land and the air will kill us, as they are already doing with the mountains. That we wake up ”.
In this context, on April 18, 19 and 20, the Second Latin American Summit on Water for the Peoples will be held in that San Juan town, a meeting of social movements in resistance to extractivism under the slogan "We are Water, We are Hermanos."