MICLA

McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Cerro de San Pedro, Mexico

Key Data

Company:New Gold Operational status:production Materials extracted:silver, gold Type of mine:open pit Main issues:water, biodiversity, community relations, land rights
CSP explosion feb 2007

Description

The mine Cerro de San Pedro is owned by New Gold Inc. through the Mexican subsidiary Minera San Xavier (MSX). It is located about 5 km from the city of San Luis Potosí in an area that was declared an area of colonial monuments in 1972 as well as a wildlife preservation zone in 1993[i]. In 1997, MSX received an authorization from local authorities to start the mining project[ii]. A year later, Baltazar Loredo, the mayor of Cerro San Pedro was assassinated after having announced his opposition to the mine due to evidence he had proving that MSX had acquired historic lands illegally [iii]. In 1999, the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) granted MSX an environmental permit to conduct mining operations[iv]. After MSX was granted the mining permits, an ongoing legal struggle between MSX and groups opposing the project started. The opposition groups include the Frente Amplio Opositor (FAO), Pro San Luis Ecologico, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the Patronato Pro-Defensa del Patrimonio Cultural e Histórico de Cerro San Pedro, A.C[v].

In March 2004, the Unitary Agrarian Tribunal rejected the lease MSX had been using since 1999 to operate in ejidal lands because they had obtained fake signatories[vi]. On April 12th of the same year, the Frente Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (FZLN) organized a protest against MSX[vii]. In October, the National Defense Secretariat gave MSX authorization to use of explosives, which violated a decree issued by the Second District Court two months before[viii]. In December, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) presented a lawsuit against MSX and stated that historical monuments had been damaged[ix]. In 2004, the Supreme Tribunal of Fiscal and Administrative Justice cancelled the environmental permit granted to MSX by the SEMARNAT in 1999, ruling that a permit never should have been granted[x]. MSX requested an appeal and continued to operate[xi]. In 2005 the appeal was rejected and the court ratified the annulation of the permit. In 2006, after president Vicente Fox publicly announced his support to MSX, the Mexican government granted MSX a new environmental permit[xii]. In 2010 the Supreme Tribunal nullified the permit granted to MSX in 2006 and the Environment Federal Agency (PROFEPA) closed the mine for the second time[xiii]. On December 14, 2010 the SEMARNAT issued MSX a new permit and despite strong local opposition the mine began operating again[xiv]. By 2013, the Cerro de San Pedro mountain, the emblem on the coat of arms for the city of San Luis Potosí, had disappeared due to mining activity. Nearby community members have chosen not to relocate, and live within 30 meters of the mining site, where 25 tons of explosives are detonated daily[xv].

 

Bibliography

[i]

 Jaime Aviles, “Minera San Xavier, catastrofe para SLP”, La Jornada, November 14, 2011. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/11/14/min-xavier.html

[ii]

 Jose G. Vargas-Hernandez, “Cerro de San Pedro: Grass Roots Movements in Cooperation and Conflict to Stop a Living City from Dissapearing” (paper presented at the Seventh International Critical Management Studies Conference, Naples Italy, 14-16 July 2011).http://metrostudies.berkeley.edu/pubs/proceedings/Shrinking/15Vargas_PA_final.pdf

[iii]

 Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara, “Canadian Mining Crimes in Mexico”, July 21, 2010. http://upsidedownworld.org/main/mexico-archives-79/2602-canadian-mining-crimes-in-mexico

 Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara, “Minera San Xavier, delincuada organización y Estado fallado”, La Jornada, June 13, 2009. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2009/06/13/opinion/016a1pol

[iv]

 Jaime Aviles, “Minera San Xavier, catastrofe para SLP”, La Jornada, November 14, 2011. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/11/14/min-xavier.html

[v]

 Jose G. Vargas-Hernandez, “Cerro de San Pedro: Grass Roots Movements in Cooperation and Conflict to Stop a Living City from Dissapearing” (paper presented at the Seventh International Critical Management Studies Conference, Naples Italy, 14-16 July 2011). http://metrostudies.berkeley.edu/pubs/proceedings/Shrinking/15Vargas_PA_final.pdf

[vi]

  “Caen Acciones de la Minera San Xavier ante Reveses en los Tribunales”, La Jornada San Luis, December 23, 2004. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2004/12/23/041n1soc.php

[vii]

 Aguilar Robledo, Miguel, “Presentación”, in Ordenamiento territorial y participación social: problemas y posibilidades, 33. San Luis Potosí: Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosí, 2011. http://books.google.ca/books?id=bjLXzGzcNoMC&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=zapatista+protesta+cerro+de+san+pedro&source=bl&ots=c0ZKwWmOze&sig=Hkf25kajRDLdWjTsAbduZ3n_bVI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VedYVNLgO-_1iQL9w4HAAg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=zapatista%20cerro&f=false

[viii]

 Angeles Cruz Martinez, “Admite Sedena que Autorizo uso de Explosivos a Minera: Ejidatarios”, La Jornada San Luis,December 24, 2004. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2004/12/24/041n1soc.php

[ix]

 Jose G. Vargas-Hernandez, “Cerro de San Pedro: Grass Roots Movements in Cooperation and Conflict to Stop a Living City from Dissapearing” (paper presented at the Seventh International Critical Management Studies Conference, Naples Italy, 14-16 July 2011).  http://metrostudies.berkeley.edu/pubs/proceedings/Shrinking/15Vargas_PA_final.pdf

[x]

 Jose G. Vargas-Hernandez, “Cerro de San Pedro: Grass Roots Movements in Cooperation and Conflict to Stop a Living City from Dissapearing” (paper presented at the Seventh International Critical Management Studies Conference, Naples Italy, 14-16 July 2011).  http://metrostudies.berkeley.edu/pubs/proceedings/Shrinking/15Vargas_PA_final.pdf

[xi]

  Jaime Aviles, “Minera San Xavier, catastrofe ara SLP”, La Jornada, November 14, 2011. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/11/14/min-xavier.html

[xii]

 Jose G. Vargas-Hernandez, “Cerro de San Pedro: Grass Roots Movements in Cooperation and Conflict to Stop a Living City from Dissapearing” (paper presented at the Seventh International Critical Management Studies Conference, Naples Italy, 14-16 July 2011).  http://metrostudies.berkeley.edu/pubs/proceedings/Shrinking/15Vargas_PA_final.pdf

[xiii]

 Patricia Chavez, “Cerro de San Pedro mine, San Luis Potosí, México”, ejolt, October 28, 2014. http://ejatlas.org/conflict/cerro-san-pedro-mine-san-luis-potosi-mexico

[xiv]

 Patricia Chavez, “Cerro de San Pedro mine, San Luis Potosí, México”, Environmental Justice Atlas, October 28, 2014. http://ejatlas.org/conflict/cerro-san-pedro-mine-san-luis-potosi-mexico

[xv]

 Frente Amplio Opositor a la Minera San Xavier/REMA, “Cerro de San Pedro: Breve Reseña de sus Luchas”, La Jornada, April 20, 2013. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/04/20/cam-cerro.html



Timeline of Key Events

2014
2004