Americas Requested Canada’s Mediation in the San Rafael ConflictBy Paloma Duran | Fri, 12/11/2020 - 17:26
Americas Gold and Silver has asked the Canadian government to mediate its conflict with the National Union of Mining Workers headed by Morena´s Senator Napoléon Gómez Urrutia. The conflict has blockaded the San Rafael mine since January. The company said the senator’s statements aim to discredit Americas and promote the illegal blockade of the mine.
The Canadian mining company owns the San Rafael mine located in Cosala, Sinaloa. Since January 26, the company’s mining operations have been illegally blocked by the Union under the argument that the company must improve the working conditions and health of its workers. However, Americas said those are false accusations, and that the real objective of the group is to illegally obtain a collective agreement and other contracts related to the mining activities.
Moreover, Americas said that families and employees that depend on mining’s resources have been the most affected. Darren Blasutti, President and CEO of Americas Gold and Silver Corporation said to MBN that their strategy has always been based on quality employment opportunities. He added that Cosala is a small community and its main generator of wealth are mining activities.
In September, the company announced that it concluded its employment contracts with more than 327 workers and that the suspension of operations would continue. This blockade has caused a loss of approximately US$20 million, reported Milenio.
The company said that during these 11 months, it has requested the help and support of Sinaloa federal and judicial authorities to solve the situation of the mine. However, these requests haven’t been attended.
Moreover, Senator Gómez has been backed up by local authorities. Recently the Senator asked the company to withdraw the concession of the mine so it can be given to a group of local allies, reported CA Posts.
Americas said the company wants to restart operations in its San Rafael mine, but this will only happen it if the government respects and enforces the rule of law. However, since January the company has not had the support of Mexican authorities, which has forced the company to seek assistance from the Canadian government, reported CA Posts.
Americas said it will use all possible resources to solve the situation, both in legal instances and according to national and international treaties. The request to Canada for mediating the conflict aims to ensure that the law and legal framework of the judicial process will be respected by local authorities, reported Milenio.
The company says it believes that worker and community interests can be solved through legal channels and the lifting of the blockade, which is damaging the community, stakeholders and the company, according to a company´s press release.