Riot Police Repress and Beat Members of the ‘La Laguna’ United Peoples’ Front in Defence of Life and Territory

  • The United Peoples’ Front protests the Chemours’ Laguna project
  • The Chemours Company intends to produce 65,000 tonnes of cyanide in the Lagunera region
  • Riot police beat and arrest members of the United Peoples’ Front

Today, a protest was organized by the ‘La Laguna’ United Peoples’ Front in Defence of Life and Territory against the Chemours’ Laguna project that involves the construction and operation of a chemical plant that would produce 65,000 tonnes of sodium cyanide per year. In response, state and municipal police repressed, beat, shot and arrested members of the Front while they were exercising their constitutionally enshrined right to peaceful protest.

At about 5 a.m., more than 500 people gathered in the community of La Aurora Ejido in response to the United Front’s call to demonstrate their concern and opposition to the Chemours’ Laguna project, as well as their discontent with municipal authorities who, illegally, have facilitated permits for the transnational chemical company to enable it to manufacture sodium cyanide. This is one of the most potent poisons in the world that can cause irreversible damage to health and the environment. Its production in the Lagunera region would affect neighbouring ecosystems and put the local population at risk.

At about 10 a.m., 200 state and municipal riot police from the municipality of Gómez Palacio in the state of Durango, arrived at the community of La Aurora Ejido and repressed the United Front’s protest. As a result, several people were injured, including Mr. Saturnino Hernández who is 80 years of age, Horacio Ramiréz, a young man named Luis Mario Carrillo and others. Mr. Avelino Rodríguez and a teacher whose name is not known were arrested. It is important to mention that during the repression, police used fire arms wounding one of the demonstrators.

We have been informed, as of about 2:30 p.m. today, that various security forces are carrying out a house by house search to identify the most visible members of the ‘La Laguna’ United Peoples’ Front in Defence of Life and Territory.

The Mexican Network of Mining-Affected People (REMA by its initials in Spanish) holds responsible Jaime López who is head of the Office for Attention of the Citizenry in the municipal government of Gómez Palacio, as well as Municipal President Leticia Herrera Ale and the Governor of Durango, José Rosas Aispuro, for the repression.

REMA and the United Peoples’ Front demand an immediate halt to the repression and for complete willingness on the part of municipal, state and federal authorities who are involved with the illegal authorization of this project and the events that took place today to initiate a process of serious dialogue.

We call for an immediate end to the repression of defenders of territory!

Chemours Out!
Cyanide kills!

Mexican Network of Mining-Affected People (REMA)
‘La Laguna’ United Peoples’ Front in Defence of Life and Territory
Socio-Environmental Organization for Collective Action
Family Members of Pasta de Conchos
The Citizens’ Coordinating Group for La Laguna
Regional Citizens’ Front in Defence of Sovereignty