Mining in Andalgalá: we present ourselves as Amicus Curiae before the Supreme Court

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Together with the ANDHES Foundation, we present ourselves as friends of the court in the framework of the case in which the constitutionality of an ordinance of Andalgalá (Catamarca), which prohibits open-pit mining, is being debated.

Since 2016, the Municipality of Andalgalá has prohibited, through Ordinance No. 029/16, open pit mining and the use of certain hazardous substances. With broad social consensus, this ordinance sought to protect the environment and the water courses in the area.

Since then, the Canadian company “Yamana Gold” through its “Agua Rica” mining project, today the Mara project, which plans to extract minerals in the Andalgalá River Basin, just 17 km from the city center, has judicially questioned the constitutionality of the ordinance. After several pronouncements of the courts, the Supreme Court of the Province of Catamarca finally declared it invalid.

Today the case is pending before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, awaiting a resolution. This resolution will determine the way of life of the Andalgalá community, as it will enable or not the open pit metal extraction of the highly questioned Mara project, which is currently in an advanced exploration stage. Meanwhile, the communities resist daily the actions of authorities and companies in defense of the territory and the environment, putting their lives and physical integrity at risk.

In this context, with the ANDHES Foundation we request participation in the case as “friends of the court”. This modality allows to contribute to the process arguments to solve the judicial case. We believe that the Court must declare the constitutionality of the law and the autonomy of the people of Andalgalá in the defense of their environment and territory must be respected.


Maráa Laura Carrizo, @lauracarrizo@fundeps.org