Court admits class action against Bolivian authorities accused of allowing illegal mining at national park

Madidi occupies an area of 18,958 square kilometres in the upper Amazon river basin and is part of one of the largest protected areas in the world together with the nearby Manuripi-Heath wildlife national reserve, the Apolobamba integrated management natural area and, across the Peruvian border, the Manu biosphere reserve.

Madidi and its neighbours are recognized as one of earth’s most biologically diverse regions.

According to Bolivian senator Cecilia Requena, one of the people involved in the class action, the reserve has been invaded by illegal miners, people logging indiscriminately and even drug smugglers.

Talking to local media, Requena showed the document introduced before the court, which blames the Minister of Environment and Water, Juan Santos Cruz; the director of the National Service for Protected Areas (Sernap), Teodoro Mamani; the Minister of Mining and Metallurgy, Ramiro Villavicencio; the director of the Mining Administrative Jurisdictional Authority (Ajam), Carmen López, and the Governor of La Paz, Santos Quispe, for allowing the destruction of the park.

The first audience where the plaintiffs are to make their case has been set up for July 29, 2022.

In detail, the class action demands the removal from the protected area of illegal mining settlements, mining cooperatives, and irregular and armed groups that create or maintain conflict zones, where violations of fundamental and human rights occur.

It also demands a stop to the granting of mining rights that lead to mineral exploitation in special protection zones.

The legal request also calls for a halt to any actions or activities that alter the natural course of rivers in the region and/or cause mercury contamination. The plaintiffs say that such operations endanger the ecological balance of the integrated management natural area of the Madidi national park and the health of the Indigenous peoples who live there.

During her press conference, Senator Requena said that, given that the court admitted the class action without making any observations, she is optimistic that it will declare an ecological pause at Madidi as a precautionary measure to prevent further destruction of the national park.

This post has been syndicated from a third-party source. View the original article here.

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