Since the first catastrophic spill in 2015, the residents of San José de Jáchal have been drinking bottled water. They live in fear of their children being poisoned, of their livelihoods being threatened, and the Jáchal River never recovering from the contamination.
But local community group Asamblea Jáchal No se Toca is fighting back. They are working relentlessly to convince the government to uphold the law and shut down Barrick's Veladero mine.
Sign the petition to support Asamblea Jáchal No se Toca and demand that Argentine government officials protect their country from Barrick Gold’s dangerous mine.
The 2015 Veladero mine spill that sent millions of liters of water contaminated with cyanide and heavy metals into at least five rivers is considered the worst environmental mining disaster in Argentine history. But Barrick never alerted the public about what happened.
Jáchal and the other nearby communities only found out that their water was contaminated because a concerned Veladero mine employee sent out a WhatsApp message. Barrick didn’t publicly admit that the spill happened until six days later.
The government later fined Barrick Gold US$10 million and temporarily shut down the mine. But the community and local universities have identified four more spills since then, and the company has failed to report any of them. It is clear that as long as the Veladero mine stays open, the surrounding communities will always be in danger.
Argentina’s Mining Code states that companies must cease operations after three environmental infractions. The Veladero mine is also located in a periglacial area, which is a violation of the Argentinian Law of Glaciers.
But Barrick Gold is so powerful, that national and provincial government officials have looked the other way, and let the mine continue doing business as usual. They are even thinking of letting Barrick expand the mine and extend operation for another 10 years.
Act now to demand that government officials block the expansion and shut down Barrick's dangerous mine.
Equal Times. 7 July 2017.
Reuters. 26 April 2017.
Canadian Dimension. 2 December 2022.
Financial Post. 17 November 2022.