Thursday 24 June 2021

Confrontation Leaves One Dead and Several Injured at Crucitas mine

A clash between ‘coligalleros’ and the police apparently left one dead death and several injured in the Crucitas mine, confirmed Friday night Costa Rican authorities.

Police found 48 people in irregular migratory status (illegal in the country). Photo from MSP

Carlos Hidalgo, spokesman for the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (MSP), said that according to the first versions, about 200 to 300 coligalleros carrying machetes attacked the officers at the Crucitas farm. Hidalgo added that the apparent mortal victim was a coligallero.

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Since April of last year, an intense movement in the area has been unleashed, in search of gold in the Cutris district. Not only Costa Ricans, but also Nicaraguans cross the border to prospect for gold.

Crucitas is the scene of the failed mining project promoted by the government of Óscar Arias, carried out by the Canadian company Infinito Gold.

The Communication Center of the Cruz Roja (Red Cros) at 10:35 p.m. reported they had not been able to access the site, so they had no confirmation of any death or injuries.

On November 15 last a coligallero died and another was injured while mining for gold illegally. Dozens of camped out, some with weapons, in response to a police operation.

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A coligallero is a small-time gold prospector, miner or panner.

The illegal extraction of gold is punishable under Article 139 of the Mining Code: “(…) Prison from three months to five years to anyone who develops mining activities for reconnaissance, exploration or exploitation in a national park, biological reserve or other wildlife conservation area that enjoys absolute protection “.

Sources (in Spanish): La Nacion; Crhoy

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