Rio Sonora residents still waiting for repairs 8 years after devastating mine spill
Members of the Rio Sonora watershed committees, scientists and human rights activists speak about the ongoing damage in the region during a press conference on August 3, 2022.
Saturday marks the eighth anniversary of the worst environmental mining disaster in Mexican history. And for residents of the Rio Sonora Valley, the impacts of this spill are still being felt.
On August 6, 2014, Grupo Mexico’s Buenavista copper mine spilled 11 million gallons of toxic waste into the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers, contaminating waterways, killing livestock, and sickening residents of riverside towns.
“They cut our lives short. They took away our way of life,” said Norberto Bustamante, a member of the citizen-led Rio Sonora watershed committees, which have been fighting for sanitation since 2014.
Bustamante was speaking at a press conference alongside community members and experts who detailed the results of recent studies showing the health, environmental and economic impacts of the disaster. These include recent government tests that show high levels of heavy metals like lead, arsenic and cadmium in area residents and in their water supplies.
Committee members said they continue to demand long-term solutions to the ongoing damage caused by the spill and that Grupo Mexico be held accountable for the damage it caused.
¿Qué ha pasado a 8⃣ años del derrame tóxico de #GrupoMexico?
Sigue the transmission in vivo desde el @CentroProdhhttps://t.co/2SpZ6Z3IlZ
— PODER (@PODERlatam) August 3, 2022