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Papagayos threatens la Laguna del Diamante, Mendoza, Argentina


In 2004, the neighbors of San Carlos began to meet worried about the recent activity of prospecting and mining exploration in the vicinity of the Diamond Laguna Reserve. Some of these neighbors had already done since 2003, accompaniment tasks to the country's geologists, and at that time they did not perceive the activity as a risky. Subsequently, via trips south of local mountains arrive news of what happened in Esquel, and the possibility of having near the springs of water a megaminero project took other connotations.

The neighbors began to meet before the need to learn, and formed the diamond front at first. They began to make informative meetings, and resolved to ask for official information. For this, the neighbors resorted to the mayor, who, as they manifest, did not hear them. The same happened with councilors. Before the official refusal of providing information, the need for the mobilized neighbors of informing their peers was reinforced. They began to give talks in schools, and teachers and families played a very important role in the disclosure of the subject. Thus, the autoconvocate neighbors of San Carlos would arise, which were transformed into the first organization that resisted the megaminery in Mendoza, and at the birth of an important provincial movement.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Papagayos threatens la Laguna del Diamante, Mendoza, Argentina
State or province:Mendoza.
Location of conflict:San Carlos, Uco Valley
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific commodities:Copper

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The area named Papagayos was the zone of Mining Interest - with potential to extract copper and gold - which generated the conflict in San Carlos. The area of ​​prospecting is located near Arroyo Papagayos, 35 km from Volcano Maipo, and 15 km southeast of the Laguna del Diamond Provincial Reserve. The nearest town is Pareditas, 90 km northeast of the area.

Source: vector Argentina, environmental impact report of the Papagayos project, 2003.

A report on the purchase option of said project is available on the page of the Canadian Minera Exeter:

pdf / 2003_news / exeter_news_031112.pdf>.

Level of Investment for the conflictive project100,000.
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:32,600
Start of the conflict:2003
Company names or state enterprises:Tenke Minings from Canada
Desarrollo de Prospectos Mineros S.A. (Depromin) from Argentina
Exeter from Canada
Relevant government actors:Mining Directorate Management of Environmental Protection Intendant of San Carlos Legislative Power of San Carlos (Deliberative Council) Provincial Legislature
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Diamond front, Culunche Foundation, Rural Society of the Uco Valley, Assembly of Autoconvocados Neighbors of San Carlos

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Blockades of Roads, Called "Court of Routes" in Argentina in This and Other Cases.


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsAffectation of protected natural area
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
Land demarcation
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Project cancelled
Proposal and development of alternatives:Expansion of the diamond lagoon reserve, for being one of the greatest freshwater reserves of Mendoza. NEW Provincial Legislation Expansing The Protected Area.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The massive organization of the neighbors of San Carlos, in defense of the water sources and the reserve of the diamond lagoon, managed to expand the area of ​​protection of the reservation, which prohibits any type of mining activity in the area .

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Mendoza, ley No.7722, que prohíbe la minería a cielo abierto con el uso de químicos contaminantes.

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina OCMAL

2011. Wagner, Lucrecia. Problemas Ambientales y Conflicto Social en Argentina: Movimientos socioambientales en Mendoza. La defensa del agua y el rechazo a la megaminería en los inicios del Siglo XXI. Tesis doctorales de Ciencias Sociales,, Universidad de Málaga. ISBN 978-84-694-0461-4.

Meta information

Last update06/07/2018
Conflict ID:739



Corte de ruta en San Carlos