Mining activists killed in Mexico

We are in Oaxaca, Mexico and hope to meet community activists opposing the destruction of their community life and environment by a Canadian mining company. The activist we planned to meet, Bernardo Vasquez Sanchez, was killed last night, March 15, 2012, and his brother and cousin were wounded. This mine, locally called Trinidad, is operated by Minera Cuzcatlan, a subsidiary of Canadian Fortuna Silver mines. It is in San Jose el Progreso, in the Ocotlan Valley, south of Oaxaca

For more information about this tragedy see this report.

For information about this company can be found here.

According to this website, the mine achieved commercial production in September 2011.

In 2011, the mine produced 490,555 ounces of silver and 4,622 ounces of gold. For 2012, San Jose is expected to produce 1.7 million ounces of silver and 15,000 ounces of gold.

The company has initiated plans to expand mine and processing plant treatment capacity and when completed, San Jose is expected to annually produce approximately 3.2 million ounces of silver, 25,000 ounces of gold, or 4.6 million silver equivalent ounces. Life of mine average cash operating cost, net of by-products, is estimated at US$7.84 per silver equivalent ounce.

This is not the first death of a community activist opposed to the operation of this mine. Another community leader was killed & one injured in January, 2012.

Globally, Canadian mining companies are accused of bribing local politicians and officials in order to operate without proper community consultation and without social or environmental concern. As a result, local activists are killed and injured, and many more are subjected to threats and beatings.

Please write to express your concern and shock about these deaths and attempted deaths to:

Ralph Rushton, Fortuna Silver Mines Corporate Office, 650-200 Burrard Street Vancouver, BC V6C 3L6 T: .604.484.4085 info@fortunasilver.com

Also to:

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. Phone: (613) 995-0183 Fax: (613) 996-9795 E-mail: faste@parl.gc.ca

Please forward this call for urgent action to others who would respond as well.