Posts belonging to Category In the World
A Report by the US Human Rights Network on their Human Rights Hearings
Documenting Injustice in the United States
US Human Rights Network
In July 2014 USHRN held two hearings and tours in New Mexico (Gallup and Albuquerque) that were co-sponsored by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), and the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) (with their core group of alliances: Bluewater Valley Downstream Alliance (BVDA); Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM); Laguna-Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment (LACSE); Post-71 Uranium Workers Committee (Post ’71); Red Water Pond Road Community Association (RWPRCA)). Thirty-five years after the Church Rock uranium spill (the largest nuclear accident in U.S. history in terms of radiation released and land impacted) devastated communities across New Mexico, the hearings gave those directly impacted by the spill and continued environmental injustices, caused by the uranium mining and milling industry, and other human rights violations an opportunity to share their experiences and join the growing U.S. human rights movement. The tour included a visit to the Acoma Pueblo, the Grants/Milan areas, and the Churchrock and Red Water Pond communities and Peoples. While in Albuquerque, the tour included visiting communities plagued by the environmental racism of multiple industries polluting. The panel of local and national distinguished human rights experts that attended the tour and hearings in New Mexico included: Ejim Dike, Executive Director, US Human Rights Network; Gay J. McDougall, Mulligan Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Law, Fordham University School of Law, formerly UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues and UN CERD Committee Member; Ron Davis, CEO, Jordan Davis Foundation; Marleine Bastein, Executive Director, Haitian Women of Miami, FANM & 2013 USHRN Human Rights Movement Builders Award Winner; and Petuuche Gilbert, Acoma Pueblo, Indigenous World Association.
Click her to download a pdf of the report: Testimonies of Human Rights at Home – Documenting Injustice in the United States
Susan Gordon, coordinator for MASE
GRANTS, N.M.— On May 1, the New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division will hold a public hearing on whether the Mt. Taylor uranium mine can remain on standby status and continue to pollute the surrounding environment. The hearing is open to the public and people will be given an opportunity to give comments.
The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) – a network of groups located in the Grants Mining Belt of New Mexico – will present testimony on living with the impacts of toxic pollution from the Mt. Taylor Mine. MASE will also present testimony on the failure of the mine’s owner, Rio Grande Resources (RGR), to conduct interim reclamation at the mine site and the company’s unreasonable predictions of economic viability of the mine in the face of a continued depressed uranium market.
“Mt. Taylor is a zombie mine,” says Susan Gordon, coordinator for MASE. “It’s neither producing uranium nor is it cleaning up its existing mess – it’s simply festering. It hasn’t operated in 25 years and pretending that it will operate in the future just prevents real cleanup in our communities. It is time for the Mining and Minerals Division to require reclamation of all uranium mine sites in New Mexico.”
A subsidiary of General Atomics, RGR’s Mt. Taylor Mine has not produced an ounce of uranium since 1990. Since then the operator has repeatedly received standby permits which allows the mine to sit idle. The mine was productive for a total of eight years but since it stopped producing, the toxic waste piles and infrastructure have been left idle and exposed.
“In order to continue standby status, RGR must show the mine will be economically viable during the standby period,” says Eric Jantz, staff attorney at the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. “But every credible source indicates that current uranium production will satisfy any demand for years to come. This mine will not produce uranium anytime soon. RGR should start creating high paying jobs by starting reclamation right now.”
Previously, the Mining and Minerals Division approved a standby permit despite documented groundwater contamination at the mine and no prospects for renewed production.
WHEN: 10:00 AM, Friday, May 1, 2015
WHERE: Cibola County Convention Center, 515 West High Street, Grants, NM 87505 (map)
URANIUM WORKERS’ DAY
Round House in Santa Fe
9:30 Press Conference
Join Us and Raise Awareness
about the continuing health and environmental impacts
from uranium mining faced by many New Mexicans
Cosponsors: Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, McKinley Community Place Matters, Bernalillo County Place Matters, Bluewater Valley Downstream Alliance, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Conservation Voters New Mexico, Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining, Gallup Solar, Honor Our Pueblo Existence, Interfaith Worker Justice of New Mexico, Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment, Native American Voters Alliance, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, New Mexico Health Equity Partnership, New Mexico Public Health Association, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Office of Life, Peace, Justice & Creation Stewardship – Catholic Charities of Gallup, Partnership for Earth Spirituality, Post ’71 Uranium Workers Committee, Red Water Pond Road Community Association, Southwest Indigenous Uranium Forum, Southwest Organizing Project, Tewa Women United
Contact Susan Gordon