Testimony regarding health problems caused by and property rights abused by the Marlin Mine

Testimony taken 24 July 2009 in San José Ixcaniche, close to the Marlin Mine, from Doña Marcela (a pseudonym), wife of a worker at the mine.

My husband … is ill because he works for the Montana company. He works with the chemicals and the heavy metals and we have written proof which states that he has contaminated blood. Now we want to get another examination done by an external authority to see if it coincides with the company’s readings.

Also, she [points to her daughter] is very ill because my husband was working with the company when she was born. Every fortnight I have to take her to a doctor. Three days ago I saw a child specialist who told me that it’s really very serious. She doesn’t have much of a defence system, probably because of the heavy metals.

Right now we are suffering – my husband is ill; she’s ill; and I’ve got problems with Montana because they invaded my property in San José Nueva Esperanza, over there, and fenced it off, and now I can’t get into my own land. … I have documents to show that I am the owner. They don’t even ask my permission. They pass by on a road right through the middle of my land without asking permission – there’s no consultation.

Two years ago I made a claim against Montana. They came to surface the road which had been built through the middle of my land. They felled the pines. They caused a landslide in the land because they moved so much earth. They also drilled into the ground.

I believe this is unfair – what they are doing is an injustice. Many people are in favour of them, but I don’t know why because the reality is that the company is causing great damage. …Many of them do it for the money; many do it because they have a business, and so they tend to support Montana. I think that you shouldn’t behave like this for the sake of a business. You should do it for the sake of your life, for your children and for their children. I don’t want to let my child die just because of the mine.