Cajamarca - curing gold fever
The people of Cajamarca stopped a gold mine in their water and food rich territory. But the real story is what happened next...

Gomez, Mariana; Hitchcock, Benjamin

Publisher:  The Resurgence Trust
Date Written:  03/03/2020
Year Published:  2020  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX24062

Farmers, youth and other environmental defenders from Cajamarca, deep in the embrace of the Colombian Andes Mountains, have stopped a vast gold mine, re-valued the ‘true treasures’ in their territory and begun to develop regenerative alternatives to mining 'development'.



Celebration, art and storytelling have played a constant role in Cajamarca’s story of resistance and revival. Every year for ten years, people in Tolima have organised a ‘Marcha Carnaval en Defensa de la Vida’ (Carnival March in Defence of Life), in the regional capital, Ibague.

Valentina Camacho from CADV said: “In 2009 we marched in the carnival of Ibagué for the first time and people became interested and wanted to join in the struggle, this is where the idea of the Marcha Carnaval was born. It’s positive and colourful, it’s a way not just of saying no to the mine but also saying yes to life".

The Marcha Carnaval has become an emblematic space for organising the broader movement of resistance to La Colosa and indeed extractive threats throughout Tolima. It is an artistic, theatrical and cultural demonstration in defence of life that has grown year on year, and now draws hundreds of thousands to the streets of Ibague.

Cajamarca's victory and subsequent revival has become emblematic, and popular consultations have experienced a ‘boom’ in Colombia. Ten more municipalities have voted down extractive projects through popular consultations and more than 70 other municipalities have expressed their interest in holding popular consultations regarding extractive projects.

This rapid expansion of effective territorial defence is a result of direct community-to-community exchange.
Insert T_CxShareButtonsHorizontal.html here