• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica environmentalists keep up pressure against Crucitas mine

January 28, 2015

A group of environmentalists and concerned citizens gathered in front of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) in San José Wednesday to protest the Crucitas open pit gold mine near the Nicaraguan border.

Armed with a petition to stop the project and a green macaw-costumed mascot, the group cited environmental and social concerns as reasons not to continue the project.

“The green macaw is a symbol of conservation for this country, and if the Sala IV wants to keep that image they shouldn´t approve this mine,” said Luis Diego Marín, coordinator for Preserve Planet and of the protest.

Construction of the mine involves clearing forests in northern Costa Rica. Marín said most of the trees that must be cut for the project are government-protected almond trees, a species on which the endangered green macaws depend on heavily for food.

Approving the mine´s continuation would mean breaking the law, Marín said.

The mine, which was initially proposed in 1993, has been through a long and controversial legal process of suspensions and approvals. Construction began in early 2008 but halted within months over legal and environmental concerns. The continuation of the project is now in the hands of the Sala IV.

Proponents of the mine have rejected charges of environmental damage claiming that the almond tree and the green macaw will be minimally affected. The mine´s owners, a Costa Rican subsidiary of Canadian company Infinito Gold LTD, also believe the creation of jobs would outweigh any environmental costs, but Marín believes the employment argument to be nothing more than problematic, short-term thinking.

“Mines eventually get mined out,” he said. “This mine will employ people for 11 years. After 11 years, what will they do? All that will be left behind will be the environmental problems caused by the clearing.”

The group of protestors presented the request to discontinue the project to the Sala IV Wednesday afternoon.

The Tico Times was unable to reach the mine´s owners Wednesday afternoon for their response to the protest.

You may be interested

Costa Rica considers upgrades to Limón cruise terminal, marina
Costa Rica
3085 views
Costa Rica
3085 views

Costa Rica considers upgrades to Limón cruise terminal, marina

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 7, 2021

The Atlantic Port Authority's (JAPDEVA) has contracted U.S.-based Moffatt & Nichol to conduct feasibility studies regarding a new cruise terminal…

Former Latin American leaders condemn ‘breakdown in the rule of law’ in El Salvador
El Salvador
8 views
El Salvador
8 views

Former Latin American leaders condemn ‘breakdown in the rule of law’ in El Salvador

The Tico Times - May 6, 2021

Some 20 former presidents of Spain and Latin America, including Felipe Calderón and Vicente Fox from Mexico, and Álvaro Uribe…

Quepos airport renovations (finally) underway
Costa Rica
10 views
Costa Rica
10 views

Quepos airport renovations (finally) underway

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 6, 2021

Renovation and expansion of the runway at La Managua Airport in Quepos began Wednesday and will completed before September. "The…