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Saturday, 21 April 2018

After cyanide spill, can First Majestic clean up its act?


On March 11 of this year, the Canadian mining company First Majestic Silver Corp spilled 200 litres of a cyanide solution from the San Dimas project into the Piaxtla River in Durango, Mexico. The spill of the solution - representing roughly 100 to 180 mg of cyanide - apparently occurred when a truck carrying the deadly chemical ran out of fuel on a hill. An employee either failed to close a valve, or the valve itself was faulty.
Protesters demanding that Canadian
mining companies get out of Mexico

An environmental organization named Conselva y Voces Unidas por el Agua, which has its offices in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, has demanded a valid environmental assessment of the environmental impact of the spill. One month after the spill, that does not appear to have happened.

“The damage to the ecosystem has to be evaluated – if it filtered to the subsoil, and affected the water table, which supplies the community with water,” said the executive director of Conselva, Sandra Guido, shortly after the spill was reported.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Corruption and impunity on trial: Mexican police officers claim torture after being charged in case of missing Italians


On January 31 Raffaele Russo, 60, an Italian national from Naples, travelled in a rented white Honda CRV 40 kilometers from his four star hotel in Ciudad Guzmán, to the town Tecalitlán in southeast Jalisco.  He left behind his son, Antonio Russo, 25, and his nephew, Vincenzo Cimmino, 29. Apparently, his plan was to explore opportunities to sell light machinery.

During the trip Raffaele was in contact with another of his sons, Francesco, who was in Mexico City. Their last communication was abruptly cut off at 3 pm on the 31st. Francesco was then unable to reach his father, and grew concerned. He contacted the car rental agency, which said that the last GPS reading was from 3.23 PM. Just before this, Rafaelle also sent a WhatsApp message to family members in Italy saying that police officers were following him.
The three missing men

Francesco then called his brother and cousin in Ciudad Guzmán, and asked them to go look for his father. They arrived in Tecalitlán in a rental vehicle similar to Raffaele's around 6 pm on that same night, and asked after him. At about 7 pm they stopped at a gas station on Highway 110, on the outskirts of town.