Left on the Move Left on the Move Left on the Move

Carolina Hernandez: “Our protests are criminalized, and our communities were militarized.”

Good evening, my name is Carolina Hernández, I represent the National Movement against Industrial Mega-Mining. This is a social movement that was born for the struggle and defense of our territories, once the government handed over the sovereignty of our country to the transnationals of Canadian origin. That affected us very much, because our homes and our support depend on artisanal mining. And it also affected the environment: these big mining companies consume in one hour the same amount of water that we would consume in 20 years. Not to mention that, during the construction of their works, they pollute so much that no more trees are born where they pass. There is no green mega-mining. The chemical waste they use lasts more than a century in the air, causing numerous diseases.

That’s what we opposed. We denounce the complicity of the government with the transnationals. Our protests are criminalized, and our communities were militarized. Some of our leaders were prosecuted and others were even imprisoned for 50 days, to disintegrate our movement. This repression has already lasted five years.

Even now, in spite of the socio-political moment the country is going through, the government has already given three more mining concessions to these transnationals, interested in the gold that exists there. The police and paramilitaries have the green light to assassinate. On April 19, the young university students began to assassinate. The truth is that we don’t agree with that. In the end, they tried to implement fear, because they know that we will continue demonstrating.

I decided to be part of this caravan. I’m a woman, a mother of three children, and I don’t agree with the way the government is cruelly repressing more and more. We cannot remain silent. Thanks to this situation, we decide to organize ourselves, putting our lives and the lives of our families in danger. We need to denounce this government, because there is a disinformation campaign on its part. They say that we are a “coup right-wing”. We are part of the Nicaraguan people and we want to live in peace and justice.

We want democracy! In the end, the government ended up creating many laws that left us vulnerable. These transnationals do not make a prior consultation, there are no environmental impact studies in Nicaragua. Last year, a law was passed that exempted transnationals from carrying out environmental impact studies. And the damage to the environment is irreversible. Once these companies are installed in our territories, they pollute and use our water, which affects us very much.

We are asking for international solidarity and the pronouncement of all. The three transnationals are of Canadian origin and many countries have commercial relations with them, believing that they “fulfill” their socio-environmental responsibilities. But they don’t fulfill anything! In Nicaragua, nobody respects our rights. That’s why we go to the streets to express our voice, because it’s the only way we have to protest. And the government represses with cruelty. It is a difficult situation for all Nicaraguans because repression is growing and murders are becoming more frequent.

This solidarity network needs to grow. You need to be aware to denounce this situation. We need to find a strategy for a peaceful solution to our problems. We lived through many wars, we had many deaths, we lose a lot of blood, and we don’t want to go on like this anymore.

Thank you.

A new page to support and build new alternatives in Latin America and the world, defending the power of the workers and people against the 1% of the rich and privileged, and a society without exploitation.

Writing office

  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder