Call for support for Andalgala: Release detained activists and Stop the mining activity

Eleven members of the El Algarrobo Assembly have been detained in the context of heightened opposition to the Agua Rica mining project which is advancing illegally in the northern Argentine town of Andalgala. They need your support now! Please join your signature here for Andalgalá, before April 21.

Open Letter to the authorities of the province of Catamarca and to the national authorities of Argentina


April 21, 2021


We hereby express our deepest concern for the situation being experienced by the people of Andalgalá, in the Argentine province of Catamarca, as a result of the entry of drilling machines into the Aconquija mountain range, for the purpose of large-scale exploitation of the Agua Rica mining deposit.


From all parts of our America-Abya Yala and the whole world, we adhere to the Open Letter (1) that, under the initial signatures of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and the Mother of Plaza de Mayo-Founders´ Line, Nora Cortiñas, was signed in less than 24 hours by more than 2500 teachers, researchers, environmental and human rights defenders and representatives of social movements and popular organizations from all over Argentina.


The letter states that the recent entry of this drilling machinery has caused confusion and uneasiness, putting on alert the people of Andalgalá and those who have been accompanying their demand against the mega-mining exploitation, led for over a decade by the El Algarrobo Assembly. It is understood that the presence of this machinery is due to the authorization by the Catamarca Ministry of Mining (Res. 310/2020), of the Advanced Exploration Plan presented by the Canadian mining company Yamana Gold and judicially questioned by the local population. 


What this authorization has not considered, it is pointed out, is the existence of glaciers inventoried by the Argentine Institute of Nivology, Glaciology and Environmental Sciences (IANIGLA), as well as periglacial environments within the exploration area, violating the provisions of National Law 26,639 of Minimum Parameters for the Preservation of Glaciers and the Periglacial Environment. 


The existence of these perennial ice bodies has even been confirmed by the Catamarca Ministry of Mining itself in an inspection carried out within the framework of the Environmental Impact Assessment, as well as by another inspection of the National Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development carried out on March 5 of this year.Regarding the existence of periglacial environments, the provincial Ministry of Mining considered that studies should be carried out for at least two years, notwithstanding which it authorized the exploration, violating the precautionary and preventive principle provided in the General Environmental Law and further confirmed by the March 2016 ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. 


This exploration involves drilling and extraction of water from the Minas River, which is part of the Andalgalá River basin, the latter being the one that supplies water to the local population.


In this sense, it should be noted that the authorized exploration implies environmental and social contamination, since it not only affects the water, soil and air -elements on which human beings and all the biodiversity of the area depend- but also affects the cultural identity of Andalgalá by deteriorating the continuity of traditional work, such as the cultivation of fruit trees -especially walnut, quince and grapevines-, the production of canned vegetables, olive oil and sweets, to mention a few, for which a healthy and safe environment is essential. We are faced with a violation of human rights considered in their interdependence and indivisibility: the right to a healthy environment, to life, health, food, water, housing and self-determination, among others, affecting the lives of the present population and future generations.


The Open Letter further adds that on Monday, April 12, the Police of Catamarca violently raided private homes and arrested members of the El Algarrobo Assembly, involving them in the burning of the offices of the Agua Rica mining company in the city of Andalgalá. These persons continue detained illegally, as no charges have yet been pressed, and additional detentions are expected momentarily.


The coincidence between the social protest caused by the presence of machinery on the mountain and these arrests is highly suspicious, even more so if we take into account that the people of Andalgalá, as well as the aforementioned Assembly of neighbors, have been demonstrating every Saturday for 11 years through "Walks for Life" and always in a peaceful manner, even when they have not found institutional response to their complaints. We are very concerned about the political persecution that is taking place, affecting human rights to freedom, personal integrity and free expression of the population within the framework of a democratic system of government.


Based on the above, we demand, together with the El Algarrobo Assembly and the enormous number of Argentine referents and organizations, the immediate release of the people detained, the withdrawal of security forces from the area and the cessation of harassment of those who defend the environment, health and life. Similarly, we join in their demand for the exploratory actions to be stopped as they are not only illegitimate, contrary to what has been expressed for more than 11 years by the people of Andalgalá, but also illegal.



Jubilee South/Américas         

Jubileo Sur/Américas

MiningWatch CanadaCanada

Comité por los derechos humanos en América Latina (CDHAL)        Canada

Global Forest Coalition

Confederación Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Trabajadores Estatales (CLATE)

Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de America Latina Chile - América Latina

Guido De Schrijver      België

Africa Europa Faith & Justice Network          Belgium

Alejandro Dausá         Bolivia 

TerraJusta Bolivia

Rede Jubileu Sul Brasil           Brasil

Jubileo Sur Américas/Cono Sur          Brasil 

Instituto Equit - Gênero, Economia e Cidadania Global        Brasil

Luís Carlos Moro         Brasil

Acción Ecológica         Ecuador

DECOIN Defensa y Conservación Ecológica de IntagEcuador

Diana Carolina Albuja Carbonell         Ecuador

Union de Afectados por Texaco         Ecuador

Alison Vasconez Rodriguez    Ecuador

Alberto Acosta - expresidente Asamblea Consrituyente       Ecuador

Estefanía Jacome Leon           Ecuador

Yaku Pérez, excandidato presidencial Ecuador          

Observatorio Minero Ambiental y Social del Norte del Ecuador       Ecuador

Kevin Zúñiga - Medio de Comunicación Comunitario La Raíz           Ecuador

Linda Carolina Proaño Ecuador 

Pumasqui Kausay Ecuador

Instituro de Estudios Ecológicos del Tercer Mundo IEETM Ecuador

Red de Ambientalistas Comunitarios de El Salvador RACDES          El Salvador 

SOLdePAZ.Pachakuti   Asturies Estado Español

Justicia i Pau Barcelona          Espanya

Ecologistas en AcciónEspaña

Salva la Selva  España

Red Latina sin fronteras         España

Enginyeria sense Fronteres España

Jorge Fonseca, prof Universidad España

A Planeta Euskal Herria (País Vasco)

Maxime Combes         France

Marthe Stalpers for stopmines23      France

Juliette Renaud, Amis de la Terre France / Amigos de la Tierra Francia     

Lucile Daumas            Francia

Internacional Progresista Francia

FIAN International Germany - Switzerland


A4C-Artsforthecommons Italia/Ecuador

Acción ecológica Mexico        Mexico

Alberto Arroyo PicardMéxico

Diana GalindoNueva Zelanda

Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign Palestine

Palestinian Land Defense Coalition    Palestine

Palestinian alternative refugee center Palestine 

Colectivo Voces Ecológicas COVEC     Panamá

Centro de Estudios Heñoi       Paraguay

Comuna Caribe           Puerto Rico

Alternative palestinien Refugee Center, Geneva -Switzerland 

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Justice Team United States of America for headquarters, Sisters based throughout Central and South America

Ana Agostino Uruguay



Diálogo 2000-Jubileo Sur Argentina

Amigos de la Tierra Argentina           

Foro Ambiental y Social de la Patagonia       Argentina

Multisectorial humedales      Argentina

Multisectorial por los Humedales de ParanáArgentina

Asamblea Socioambiental por el Agua ee Guaymallén Mendoza    Argentina

Asamblea de vecinos Rawson playa por el no a la megaminería     Argentina

Juventud ambientalista          Argentina

Salvarnos Salvando     Argentina

Rio Santa Cruz Libre   Argentina

Movimiento Popular NuestrAmerica Entre Ríos        Argentina

Asamblea Socioambiental Cuenca de los Pozuelos Puna jujeña       Argentina

Vecinos Autoconvocados de Tilcara y Juella Argentina 

Asamblea Ambiental Dean Funes DespiertaArgentina

Periodico El Roble - Información desde las bases     Argentina

Familiares de detenidos desaparecidos por razones políticas de MendozaArgentina

PRC ~ Partido por la Revolución y el Comunismo      Argentina

Grupo ecomonitor      Argentina

Salvarnos Salvando y Jóvenes por el Clima Tucumán            Argentina

Asamblea ecoambiental de Lujan      Argentina 

Observatorio del Agua - Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia - Sede Esquel        Argentina

Asamblea por el Agua Godoy Cruz     Argentina 

Liga Argentina por los Derechos Humanos    Argentina

Asamblea Por el Agua de San Rafael, Mendoza       Argentina

Periodismo EcológicoArgentina

Movimiento Patagonia Libre Argentina

Interhuertas    Argentina

Colectivo reciclador    Argentina

Iniciativa Arcoiris de ecología política           Argentina

Cámara de Turismo Valle de Uco      Argentina

Interhuertas    Argentina

Asamblea Socioambiental de Junin de los Andes     Argentina

cooperativa ayllu        Argentina

Radio Las Cavas - FOLArgentina

Fridays for future El CalafateArgentina

Asamblea el Retamo de Nonogasta  Argentina

Encuentro Militante Cachito Fukman. EMCFArgentina

Partido Guevarista      Argentina

Juventud del Partido Guevarista        Argentina

Movimiento Brazo LibertarioArgentina

Movimiento de Trabajadores en Lucha          Argentina

Colectiva Antipatriarcal Brujas en Resistencia          Argentina

PSTU   Argentina

Movimiento generacional del Tawaintisuyu  Argentina

Qomunidad Qhapaj Ñan         Argentina

Qomunidad del territorio indígena Pozo del Castaño, dto Figueroa, Santiago del Estero   Argentina

Colectivo Memoria MilitanteArgentina

Colectivo Reciclador, CABA    Argentina

Observatorio Autónomo de conflictos socioambientales en Argentina, La Plata 

Comité de solidaridad latinoamericana, Mendoza    Argentina 

Rebelión o Extinción Mendoza           Argentina

Asamblea de Las Heras por el Agua Pura-Mendoza  Argentina

Mujeres del Agua, Mendoza  Argentina

Madres de Plaza de Mayo-Línea Fundadora/Asamblea Permanente Derechos Humanos, Provincia de Jujuy-Argentina

CORREPI Argentina


ECOSUR, Ecología, Cultura y Educación desde los Pueblos del Sur   Argentina

GEA colectiva ecofeminista Argentina 



David Benesdra           Argentina

Andrea Araujo Fuentes           Argentina

Roxana Goyeneche     Argentina

Ana Elisa Hoffmann    Argentina

Gastón R. NanArgentina

Maria Carolina Gadano          Argentina

Julia Martínez Herrera            Argentina

horacio fabian zema   Argentina

Tamara Ginzburg        Argentina

Carola Besasso           Argentina


Carlos Augusto Coll     Argentina

María Ileana Iacono    Argentina

Miriam AcuñaArgentina

Laura ferradasArgentina

Santiago lisandro Ares           Argentina

Maria Carolina Gadano          Argentina 

Marian Sola Alvarez - UNGS  Argentina

Agustina Miranda, Colectivo Reciclador.       Argentina

Elias BasualdoArgentina

Patricio Albarracín      Argentina

sole jordan      argentina

Aguado Ileana, Mendoza        Argentina

Simona Claudia Perez, Provincia de Jujuy      Argentina

Mariana Lescano        

Ezequiel Menevichian             Argentina

Celina Font      Argentina

Agustín Van Bellingen            Argentina

Alicia Young    Argentina

Agustina Tarcaya        Argentina

Carolina Alvarez - PTS Frente de Izquierda    Argentina

Docente           Argentina

Alicia   Argentina

Sabina MuñozArgentina

Eleonora Gonzalez Videla. Artista Plástica. Embajadora de Paz      Argentina

Claudia MarínArgentina

Inés Elías         Argentina

Horacio Luis NarvarteArgentina

Maria Laura Valente   Argentina

Gonzalez Florencia     Argentina

Miriam Solis - Jubilada Conicet y UNPSJB     Argentina

Martina Palero            Argentina

Asamblea por el Agua San Rafael     Argentina

Mirta BusnelliArgentina

Martin Sabio   Argentina

Guevara Daniela Milena         Argentina

Paula Aguirre  Argentina

Ivana Masci     Argentina

Analía Esther Tirado   Argentina

Diego Cueto, Argentina

María Sol Meotto Murad, Argentina

Ivana Peralts Argentina

Sabrina Melian Argentina 

Luisa Vivanco Argentina, Tucuman

Alejandra Dixon Argentina

Fundación Atreuco Argentina

María Dolores Cordoba Argentina

Stella Zeballos Argentina 


(1)  “Andalgala: Carta abierta a las autoridades de la provincia de Catamarca y de la Nación”, Cortiñas, Pérez Esquivel et al, 12 de abril de 2021.