The Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced this Sunday that under his government no more mining concessions are going to be delivered.
While on a political rally in Concepcion del Oro, Zacatecas, he stated that in 36 years 80 million hectares were concessioned, equivalent to 40 percent of the national territory.
He also accused business owners of using those permits only to speculate financially.
“To give concessions of the mining regions to national and foreign companies was a policy forwarded since the time of (Carlos) Salinas de Gortari and up to 80 million hectares were delivered for mining exploitation. To grasp it: let’s think in our territory. Mexico has 200 million hectares, and 80 million hectares, about 40 percent of the national territory. Never in History so much of our sovereign soil had been transferred”, he said.
He reiterated that current concessions are to continue, but no new ones are to be delivered.
“We are not to cancel (the concessions), but we are not to continue delivering new concessions for mining exploitation. Because it was too much what was delivered. If we analyze it, we are going to conclude that it wasn’t delivered to produce, but to speculate financially”, he said.
“With what has been delivered they have to produce. That’s the main purpose and not speculation. What we ask the mining companies is, first, take care of the environment, that no territory is destroyed, not to act as it is done in other countries”, he added.
He asked for Mexican miners to be paid as in the United States, or Canada, and that the same environmental rules be applied.
He made a call for the salaries of workers to be raised, with the same benefits.
As he has said in other rallies, Lopez Obrador warned that ONG’s are not to receive funds from the government budget.
“These realized intermediation work. It was supposed that these (ONG’s) delivered goods to the people and it wasn’t so. These kept the budget or a good amount of the budget and -hardly- purchased stocks of foods, distributed weevil bearing beans and kept must of the funds received”