On 28 February the “Consulta de los Pueblos” (Peoples’ Referendum) in Usa – Kirrandara hill ended with a categorical “no” to the mining industry. It is the first time that a referendum of this sort has taken place in Colombia.
The population of about 1,500 indigenous and Afro-Colombian people expressed their view of the Mandé Norte mining project proposed in their ancestral territories. It was an initiative of the affected people themselves, most of them ancestral inhabitants of Murindó and Jiguamiandó in the biodiverse department (province) of Chocó.
US-based Muriel Mining Corporation is currently carrying out exploration in the area. It has a Joint Venture agreement with Rio Tinto.