“Barrick! Listen! Chile will not surrender!, No to Pascua Lama!,” roared a crowd of protestors as they paraded through the streets of Santiago, Chile. The crowd was addressing Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold, in response to the company’s proposed bi-national “Pascua Lama” open-pit mine on the border of Chile and Argentina.
In what has so far been the climax of a campaign that is quickly gaining momentum, the protestors gathered on June 4th in both Santiago, Chile’s capital city, and in the northern city of Vallenar, near the Pascua Lama site. Each protest drew an estimated 2,000 people in a lively atmosphere of carnival and traditional dance and ritual. The groups condemned Barrick Gold’s plans as greedy, heavy-handed, and called the proposed mine an environmental and social nightmare, shouting, “We are not a North American colony!”