Bolivian Women: We Must Also Be Included In The Mining Law Debate


Source: Red Latinoamericana de mujeres

CASA Collective:  Indigenous women, farmers and irrigators are asking to be part of the negotiations of the Mining Law in Bolivia, which is currently being drafted between actors of the mining sector without any regard for the communities, their collective rights, which are being violated, and the women who will be facing the direct social and environmental impacts of these projects.

“This mining law designed by miners does not take into account Mother Earth. It is similar to the mining code brought forward ​​by a neoliberal government through which they take away our land (expropriation), use our water freely without paying anything for it, and divert rivers and lakes at their convenience. It also threatens freedom of expression as we cannot denounce the mining abuses and pollution, whether verbally or in written form, and if we do, we will be put in jail. Our practices and customs that call for a special consultation for mining projects are not being respected, and rather, it is the Minister of Mining making the decision. If we already have so many pollution problems, the mining law will only make things worse. They are threatening to throw us off of our lands,” stated Noemy Cuisara from the National Network of Women in Defense of Mother Earth.

The Apu Mallku [Supreme Leader] of Jacha Carangas, Placida Espinoza, reported that the community was not consulted on the draft of the law, calling it an attempted attack on Mother Earth.

“They [the miners] are also our children and go to work there [in the mines] but at this point we must analyze the law. As natives, which parts do we favor? We do not want to be affected because as native people, we are the proprietors of our land, so we must decide if we agree with the Law and if it is in accordance with the State Constitution and international laws that protects us. In this sense, we also have to participate; we have to be part of the review of the Mining  Law”, he told Radio Pio XII of the Erbol Network.

Women from their respective organizations including irrigating unions, from the Four Suyus [regions], women networks, even communities where no mining has occurred, and communities already suffering the impacts of mining, are in am emergency state of permanent mobilization to reject the draft Mining Law that violates and criminalizes their rights. Therefore they ask to be part of the discussion on the elaboration of this Law that shall apply to all Bolivians.