Monday, March 27, 2023

“In Mexico, the correlation between mining and violence is surprising”: Imanol Caneyada

When one of the largest deposits in the world was discovered in Sonora, the Canadian mining company Inuit Mining Corporation pressures Ana Ochoa and other residents to sell their land at ridiculous prices. With the awareness of local authorities and the participation of drug dealers, Canadian traffickers will do whatever is necessary to control the so-called white gold.

In a wonderful tone, the novelist Imanol Caneyada (1968) publishes Litio (Planets), a work that depicts from fiction the relationship between mining companies and organized crime.

I think you are starting to work on a new issue before the lithium issue becomes a national agenda. What brought you to write the book?

The issue of mining has always attracted my attention because of the devastation that mining has generated in Sonora and especially because of the impunity with which extractive companies, whether national or foreign, work. Earlier in New Nómadas I talked about how mining companies can leave a place after their exploitation. In the case of Lithium, I became interested in the fact that ten years ago they came to explore it in Sonora, for the same reason, a new position was put in 2014, when in Mexico there was still no awareness of the value of this mineral. Canadians and Chinese.

In Mexico, this is also linked to organized crime.

Yes, there are many voices that have demonstrated the correlation between paper and mining violence in Mexico over the years. It is surprising to see how in countries where there is more impunity and death, there are extraordinary metals. It has been shown time and time again how mining companies have used organized crime to displace communities or eliminate objectionable voices opposing their projects. Although that violence is great in the country, the strategy of organized crime as a big arm of extractivist capitalism is not clear enough to us.

Recently, it has been more precisely seen that the actors killed…

This has been going on for many years, but it has been very quiet. Salinas de Gortari reformed the mining law for the benefit of transnational and large national groups, allowing them to devastate without respect. For six years, the conditions of Fox, Calderón and Peña Nieto became crazy: concessions were made like candy. None of the mining companies that work in Mexico have environmental impact studies and do not consult with communities. In addition, they enjoy tax breaks. Today the environmental problem is pressing and the water shortage has been such that it has become irresponsible and murderous that for many years mining companies have begun to come to light without limitation for the profit of the territory. Many concessions were illegally granted and reviewed, including the reform of the mining law.

What do you think about the expropriation of lithium by the federal government?

It seems to me that the measure will favor the republic, if it is done with skill. We still don’t know how a public company will work, but becoming a state inspector and controlling strategic minerals seems like a small gain to me. However, it is also true that the Mexican state does not have the economic or technological capacity to explore and make a profit. With the exception of the deposit that is in Sonora and that is soon exploited by the Chinese company, all the others are at the time of exploration, there are still many speculations. We are now seeing the consequences in Europe of how dangerous it is to hand the strategic management of energy resources into private hands.

Your stories always have a detective touch, but I naturally think that they start with the truth.

Gabriel Trujillo says that genre noir is a Mexican tradition. I don’t like to think so pessimistically, but it’s true that it gives you the kind of elements to analyze things that are interesting to me. To me, black literature is the sound and the plan to talk about the riddles of man.

One of the safeties of your letter is a complaint against impunity. Are you optimistic about a woman or man struggling against this condition?

My hope is cyclical, I can suddenly see when I observe some activities or plans of different social groups, but that happens to me less and less. Perhaps it has to do with age, but I believe that the possibility of human transformation is less and less.


Nation World News Desk
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