March 19, 2018
In northern Mexico, in the semi-arid region called La Laguna, which includes cities such as Torreón and Gómez Palacio, as well as dozens of towns in the states of Durango and Coahuila, water is scarce. However, governments provide this valuable resource to multinational mining and chemical companies such as Dupont and Chemours, which with its “Chemours Laguna” Project intends to manufacture 65,000 tons of Sodium Cyanide in the Lagunera Region, in particular in the ejidos (communal land): Pueblo Nuevo, El Siete, La Aurora and Las Américas.
By Pavel Polska.
This project had already been stopped twice in another state, Guanajuato, due to the irreversible damages it causes to the environment and the health risk of its nearby inhabitants in more than 30 rural communities. The US companies bring, to this and other regions of Mexico, toxic products that are prohibited in the US. The teachers of the Magisterial and Popular Movement of La Laguna, belonging to the National Coordination of Education Workers – CNTE, Section XXXV, supported the people in their struggle for the defense of their living conditions and constituted the Frente Unido De Pueblos De La Laguna En Defensa De La Vida Y El Territorio (United Front Of Peoples Of The Lagoon In Defense Of Life And The Territory).
On many occasions, and for a long time, this Front petitioned the authorities of the city of Gómez Palacios and the State of Durango to suspend these destructive projects. Contempt, indifference and threats to their leaders were the answer. The project continued.
On March 9, the villages demonstrated in the entrance route in front of the construction of Chemours and the response was a brutal police repression, with bullets against the protesters and the arrest of 43 people, including minors. There were dozens of wounded, some with bullets and many injured. The repression and arrests were ordered by Leticia Herrera Ale and endorsed by the governor of Durango, José Rosas Aispuro Torres, serving strictly to their transnational bosses.
After a few days, part of the political prisoners was released. But 10 still remain imprisoned and wounded and were transferred to a distant prison in the city of Durango. In addition, the government tries to create “criminal cases” to criminalize social protest and legalize its brutal actions.We, the IWL (International Workers League) unconditionally support the demand of the CNTE of the Comarca Lagunera region, the immediate release of the 10 political prisoners illegally detained because of a peaceful demonstration against the sodium cyanide plant Chemours Company:
- Raúl Puentes Diaz
- Álvaro Ortiz Arellano
- Angelina Rodríguez Grez
- Abelino Rodríguez Martínez
- Daniela Nohemí Caballero
- Sanjuana Nájera
- María de los Ángeles Camacho
- Cristian García Pimentel
- Guillermo García Pimentel
- Julián Rodríguez Ordaz (admitted and in a serious health state)
We call on all workers’ and popular organizations, from all countries, to strongly repudiate these attacks and politicians in charge – the Municipal President of Gómez Palacio, Leticia Herrera Ale, and the Governor of Durango, José Rosas Aispuro Torres – for the damages and actions against this people. We call on you to make it as widely known as possible and support the demand for the immediate release of the imprisoned comrades, and to redouble their solidarity with their fundamental claim: Get Chemours Company out!
Translation: Corriente Obrera.