OFS defends the Gulf of California and the people of Baja Sur

October 26, 2012 (Santa Barbara, CA)
Media Contact:
Ruben D. Arvizu
Director for Latin America
Ocean Futures Society
678 428 4294

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The environmentalist and president of Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel Cousteau, expressed to President Felipe Calderón and President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto his support to the people of Baja California Sur in their fight to stop the mega project, open pit mine Los Cardones.

Through a letter also addressed to Marcos Covarrubias Villaseñor, governor of Baja California Sur, Esthela Ponce Beltran, Mayor of La Paz, Antonio Agúndez Montano, mayor of Los Cabos, Ricardo Barroso Agramont, Isaiah Gonzalez Cuevas, Carlos Mendoza Davis, senators BCS, and Arturo de la Rosa Escalante, Francisco Pelayo Covarrubias, Alfredo García Zamora, deputies also BCS, Cousteau stated that: "If the authorities in charge of protecting this fragile ecosystem do not act immediately, taking into consideration the present and future generations, the contamination and destruction of what Jacques Cousteau described as the world's aquarium, would be inevitable."

The toxic mine, Cardones, aims to extract by cyanidation, 40 tons of gold over a period of 10 years, 11 tons of material processed daily, drawn from two open pits with a tailing pond of 120 ha. The project inevitably could release during the milling process more than 67 tons of arsenic, laying exposed to the elements forever and with the constant rains in the area could end up permanently polluting the aquifers, as happened in the San Antonio and Los Planes due to less risky past mining activities, where there is currently a very high rate of incidences of cancer and contaminated wells.

The toxic project aims to be developed exactly in the facilities of the extinct mining projects of Mina Concordia, Paredones and Amarillos including a desalination plant with a capacity of 7,500 m3 per day in the community of Todos Santos and a pipeline of 42 km to the project area. Everything within the buffer zone of the protected natural area "Sierra de la Laguna", which by decree, prohibits polluting activities and their discharges to surface and subsurface.

Today the company that owns the rights previously held by the Canadian mining company, Vista Gold, is Invecture Group through Zapal Development Company SA de CV. To date an place of the public hearing is not known, in the event is expected over a thousand people attending.

That is why organizations Agua Vale Más Que Oro, Niparajá, Medio ambiente y Sociedad y el Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental will participate in the public hearing, since today the toxic mega mine Los Cardones represents the biggest risk for Baja California Sur.

For additional information please contact:
Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental, Margarita Campuzano,
Alejandro Olivera, Tel +52(612) 1655091, Cel +521 6121404974, aolivera@cemda.org.mx
Ricardo Ruiz Esparza, Tel. +52 (55) 52863323

About Ocean Futures Society
Ocean Futures Society (OFS) is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization. With the motto, “Protect the ocean and you protect yourself.” The mission of OFS is to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean's vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet. OFS is based in Santa Barbara, California, with offices in Paris, France; Lucca, Italy; and São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, visit www.oceanfutures.org.