Bolivian indigenous group declares local emergency over protected area zoning – by Florence Jones (Mining Technology – July 31, 2023)

The group has criticised the environmental and social impact of small-scale gold mining operations.

The Indigenous Peoples of La Paz Central Group (Central de Pueblos Indígenas de La Paz, CPILAP) have declared a local state of emergency following an attempt by gold mining cooperatives to modify the zoning of protected areas in Bolivia.

Areas in the north of the La Paz region are rich in gold. Production in the area is largely conducted by small and medium-sized operations known as cooperatives. These enterprises receive certain privileges from the state, including low royalties for the gold they mine.

CPILAP represents 11 indigenous organisations made up of seven indigenous peoples that inhabit the area. The group has warned that they are “willing to defend themselves against the invasion of indigenous territories and protected areas”, according to its social media.

The group said that “bad actors” including mining cooperative members will not be allowed to enter the region and continue destruction.

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