By Miguel Ángel Torres*

Cabo San Lucas, BCS--A year after the initiation of efforts to keep foreign mining interests out of the Sierra de La Laguna Biosphere Reserve, civilian organizers were able to gather 8,500 peaceful protesters on a beach in Cabo San Lucas on Sunday, January 16, 2011.

Protesters used their bodies to form a giant human "S-O-S" on the sand as a show of disapproval of mining projects in the state of Baja California Sur and as a call for help; the initials are also the name of one of the organizations involved.

The size of the gathering on Tule Beach   surpassed   by  thousands

The Sierra de la Laguna, translated literally as “Lagoon Mountains”, is as its name suggests a  natural  water   catch-
ment area. Not only that, it is the principal source of potable water for the majority of the population of the state of Baja California Sur.
the expectations of the event's organizers, which included: Sudcalifornians Organized for Sustainability (SOS), Baja Sur Lives, Baja Sur In Danger, No To the Mine, Image X Los Cabos, No to Paredones Amarillas, Water Is Worth More Than Gold, Quaayaip, Greencats, and the San José Historical Center Association.

The event's organizers called on the international community to oppose the plans of the Canadian mining enterprise Pediment Gold to operate an open-pit gold mine. According to Image X Los Cabos, "the project extends from San Antonio to Los Planes and is located  about  13 miles  from  La

They take the gold, silver, copper and everything of value. They have  you  dreaming  of  a happiness

that turns instead into a violent and inescapable nightmare from which you can't awake. Remember this, all that glitters is not gold.

The members of Quaayaip have produced a useful and illustrative Info-Video that is worth watching in order to learn about what is at stake.

Click here to see the video.

Thank you for taking the time to become informed.

Calle 16 de Septiembre s/n
Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S.

First of all, I want to mention four things about the authors (Quaayaip).

None belongs to, nor speaks for, any political party.

It is not a group of “radical conservationists or ecologists” as some in the media would have you believe.

It is a group of people like you, from different social classes.

It arose from the absurd possibility that open pit mining in the Sierra de la Laguna could be authorized.

Its objective is very clear: to stop, at all costs, open pit mining in the
Grassroots Bulletin on Sustainable Development in Northwest Mexico
Cabo San Lucas
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Sierra La Laguna, a protected natural reserve.

If you are sincerely interested  that  the  law be respected in order to protect the Sierra La Laguna, or if you are curious  about the topic , or if you know of the fake generosity of this company with its enticing but meager handouts, don’t forget our ranchers’ old refrain that “the rider has to calm a horse before he can mount it .”

Each time you hear the voices of foreigners who come praising your  hospitality  or   your  gener-
osity and who suddenly become worried about your future and the future of your family, you had better tighten your belt and safeguard your wallet.  Beware of strangers bearing gifts.

Foreign Mining Operations Soundly Rejected
Baja California Residents Speak With a Single Voice

Paz, 9 miles from  La Ventana, 11 miles from the Sierra de Laguna, and 17 miles from Cabo Pulmo. The last two places are of critical importance because the former is the region's principal source of fresh water while the latter is the location of the most important coral reef in the Gulf of California.”.
Open letter from Quaayaip on
mining in Baja California Sur
They take advantage of the original land owners’ poverty and lack of knowledge about their land and its wealth. It is the same old  story:   the  money  goes  into private national or foreign accounts and the people are left with the consequences of contamination and  the  environ-
mental damage, poisoned water, all  the  pain  and broken dreams.

In time, the poor owners of the resource-rich land fall into temptation and historically end up cursing their invisible wealth.

You must avoid the common temptations.  These miners and others like them are expert preachers of the gospel according to the checkbook. They have traveled all over the world leaving behind a long chain of scars on the face of the planet.  
when studies are completed and recommendations revised."

Pediment Gold representatives boast that "Sonora and Baja California are at the center of their  current  plans   for   explor-
ation and development because both entities have a geology that indicates the possibility of large gold deposits, each has a state government that favors the mining industry and a local population that supports such efforts, and both have excellent infrastructures." The company also took notice of the low cost of fuel and manpower, as well as the availability of well-qualified technical support.

Even so, the Chambers of Commerce,  Industry  and  Tour-
ism, in cooperation with environ-
mental  groups and  local  union
in Los Cabos and La Paz, are asking  state  and  federal author-
ities to cancel the proposed open-pit mining projects of Vista Gold and Pediment Gold. Many politicians have also declared their opposition to the two projects. "Life Is Worth More Than Gold" and "Let's Say No To Toxic Mining Practices" are popular battle cries heard among those opposing the projects.

David Sosa, spokesperson for SOS, points out that "the mining companies are planning a ten-year period of exploitation of the gold and silver deposits near two ecosystems--that of the Gulf of California, dubbed 'the World's Aquarium'  for  its marine biodiv-
ersity, and the Sierra la Laguna, which is the only source of fresh water for La Paz and Los Cabos, the state's two largest cities."
Armando Sánchez, Vice President of Canacintra Los Cabos, said the January 16th event exceeded all expectations  and  offers   encour-
agement and hope in the fight to reject open-pit mining. "It is a call for help to the international community, it's the first in a series  of  protests  aimed  at  pro-
tecting our natural environment, and the fight has just begun."

Among the planned events, the representatives  of  the organizat-
ion known as "Water Is Worth More than Gold" announced a caravan and protest march "For a Baja California Sur Free of Toxic Mining" that will commence in Los Cabos, wind through Todos Santos and end in La Paz.

*Codirector, Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness

San Antonio, an old mining town in the Cape Region, is the site of the Paredones Amarillos, a gold mine which is being operated by Echo Bay Company, a subsidiary of   the   Canadian   mining   con-
glomerate Vista Gold. The Spanish mining enterprise Concordia is also involved in the effort. But, unlike these two enterprises, Pediment Gold wants to use water mixed with cyanide as a means of extracting gold from ore through a dissolving process.

The offices of SEMARNAT in Baja California Sur offer assurances  that  "both the imple-
mentation plan and the budget indicate that by December 2011, the project is expected to be feasible; costs and schedules will be updated and modified to reflect new information available

More than 8,000 members of SOS (Baja California Sur residents Organized for Sustainability, by its initials in Spanish) protested the toxic mine.
: SOS No Mineria Toxica en BCS