Land and Territory Continue to be a Matter of Controversy in Bolivia

Gold Mining Causing Mercury Pollution

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Mining, expansion of the agricultural frontier, and community family production system, were the pillars of Martín Torrico’s presentation, during the second discussion «Amazonia and indigenous peoples», a space promoted by REPAM Bolivia and by the Center for the Promotion of the Laity Ricardo Bacherer CEPROLAI, that using technological means, united the borders to talk about Attacks in the Amazon.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, Torrico says, gold mining in Bolivia has dumped about 100 tons of environmentally polluting mercury per year or about 6 percent of all mercury thrown into the world environment.

On the other hand, the rapporteur said that the expansion of the agricultural frontier is directly related to the state policies and regulations that have promoted the authorizations of fields for the cultivation and grazing of livestock.

The production of monocultures in these areas is mainly intended for the production of biofuels and fodder. An extractivist production model that does not conform to the traditional forms of production of indigenous peoples follows.

According to the note sent to Fides by REPAM, various testimonies and reflections were heard, in the two analysis tables developed through the zoom platform, during the aforementioned discussion, in each of them the expansion of the agricultural frontier and the threats to the Amazon.

Some conclusions show the need to generate government policies that strengthen the agricultural production area by avoiding the use of transgenics, and that are favorable to the populations and regions most in need while respecting the ecosystem and culture of the indigenous Amazonian populations.

Land and territory continue to be a matter of controversy that has not only a material basis but also a spiritual foundation that must be taken into consideration.

The reality that families and communities live in the tropics of Cochabamba is difficult, hard and painful, due to the political impact that exists in the sector and which has forced many to put aside food production to dedicate themselves to sowing coca. There is a subjugation not only of lands but also of cultures, customs, and world views.

One of the conclusions of these meetings is to verify that keeping watch on the planet means becoming aware of the suffering of sisters and brothers in the Amazon, victims of a constant threat of annihilation of their culture and traditions, therefore it is necessary to ask ourselves about the actions that everyone in western Bolivia can take to stop the cowardly attacks on the Amazon.

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