03.02.2011 alina musatoiu

In 2000, a tailings pond burst at the "Gold" factory in Baia Mare. Tonnes of waste water containing cyanide and heavy metals poured into the Danube, and from there into the Tisa, in Hungary. It was one of Europe's worst environmental disasters, destroying not only an entire ecosystem in Hungary, but also the belief that a catastrophe of this magnitude could never happen again. It happened again precisely 10 years later. In the autumn of 2010, in Kolontar (in Hungary), 9 people died and 120 were injured following a massive leak of cyanide residue. The pollution made its way into the Danube in Romania.


Cyanide is harmless, isn't it? No it's not, despite the best of efforts to convince us otherwise by the Romanian-Canadian venture RMGC, who have been trying to get a cyanide-based mining project underway in Rosia Montana for the past 14 years.

The director Tibor Kocsis has made a film about this story. New El Dorado describes the lives of the villagers who refuse to leave Rosia Montana, despite the pressure on them. This is where their roots are. This is where they bury their dead, this is where they go to churches built over 200 years ago, this is a place of mountains, natural monuments and 2000 year-old Roman mine galleries. “There are three things you never sell: the family home, the church and the cemetery. And that’s something this company just doesn’t get,” says Mr. Zeni, one of the most ardent opponents of the RGGC project, in the film.

It's only natural that they don’t get it. The corporation doesn’t care about the destruction of a number of monuments that are unique in Europe, not even of the country’s oldest Romanian settlement, not to mention the four mountains surrounding Rosia Montana. They care only for the 300 tonnes of gold and 1,600 tonnes of silver they intend to extract, leaving behind an immense lake of cyanide and a lunar landscape. It's a gamble in which Romania can only lose badly, on all fronts: financially, ecologically and culturally.

Those who sold their homes, now regret it and want to return. Only there’s nowhere left for them. Those who remained have split into two camps over the years. Families have been divided, people and even the dead have been displaced (even the afterlife has its price), and many have died of de sadness. This is not a fairytale. It’s the reality the inhabitants of Rosia Montana have been living with for the almost 15 years.


This same reality is also being lived through by the inhabitants of Bergama, an area of Turkey, renowned for two things: the incredible ancient ruins of Pergamon, and a battle with a Canadian-Australian mining company that’s been going on for 20 years. Their story is told in the documentary film Alethea. In 1989, the company Eurogold began mining with cyanide in Bergama. The earth was poisoned, animals died and the number of cases of cancer rose sharply. Employees of the company are forced to swim in the cyanide lake and to drink from it in front of the press. One of them tells of how, a year later, he was diagnosed with cancer and fired. The local residents keep on protesting: they don’t want cyanide, expropriations and incurable diseases. Despite even obtaining a ruling in their favour from the European Court of Human Rights in 2006, the company continues to destroy the area today. A kind of  "Tales from a future Rosia Montana”.


Come and find out more about the dangers of mining with cyanide and about Rosia Montana. Come and see both documentaries on 6th February, starting 16.15 at Clubul Taranului, as part of the Rosia Montana 1,880-year anniversary celebrations. As a bonus there’ll also be debates, an exhibition of archive photos, and live music by The dAdA and Partizan. And all with free entrance. :)
Foto: Dokweb.net, Nacikaptan.com, Călin Capros, Alina Mușătoiu, Iksv.org
alina musatoiugraduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences (University of Bucharest). She has worked as a translator, copywriter and editor for various television stations (Money Channel, ProCinema), magazines (Zile şi Nopţi) and websites (HotNews.ro)
Views: 889

 

 


Tags:  

 

 

stefan mardale

05.02.2011 la 08:56

Foarte bun exemplul! Companiei miniere i-as spune "Euroglod".

Reply

ciprian

07.02.2011 la 10:00

- reply to stefan mardale -

Stefane, daca erai ieri in sala ai fi vazut la ce dimensiuni pot ajunge inconstienta, nesimtirea si coruptia umana. Desigur ca toti stim asta, dar din cand in cand trebuie sa facem un refresh stiintei noastre. Cat despre eveniment, ce sa zic...a fost unul reusit, s-a terminat cu veselie, beutura si maini pe sus. Am uitat cu totii ca inainte cu trei ore vedeam moarte si disperare pe ecranul ala. Nu stiu ce zic organizatorii, nu stiu ce ar trebui facut...Un prieten zicea ca nu asta e calea. Ca ar trebui constituita o divizie de lunetisti care sa scoata din sistem cativa oameni si pe urma totul ar merge mai bine... eu zic ca la cate lucruri avem noi de salvat in tara am avea nevoie de nenumarate divizii de lunetisti....

Reply

clara

07.02.2011 la 10:07

Da - probabil ca e o lupta deja pierduta, avand in vedere lipsa de solidaritate care bantuie pe la noi si culoarea banului (vorba lu Artanu') pe de alta parte.rnFilmul New ElDorado se mai poate vedea undeva? Ruleaza/se poate cumpara? Dincolo de povestea tragica, e un film chiar bine facut. rnPacat ca nu a fost ieri mai multa lume, macar sa se cunoasca mai bine aceste lucruri.

Reply

Alina Musatoiu

09.02.2011 la 16:25

- reply to clara -

Clara, filmul New El Dorado ruleaza in Bucuresti in fiecare 6 ale lunii. La inceputul lui martie, intra pe blogul luptapentrurosiamontana.wordpress.com ca sa afli unde se va organiza proiectia. Intrarea e libera.

In rest, Rosia Montana inseamna acum, asa cum a remarcat Ciprian, si disperare, dar si bucurie. Proiectia filmelor de pe 6 februarie a facut parte dintr-un eveniment mai mare (in care au intrat si concertele) organizat pentru a aniversa ceva frumos: implinirea a 1880 de ani de atestarea istorica a Rosiei. E normal sa prezinti situatia tragica din prezent prin acele filme, dar e normal sa te si bucuri pe de alta parte de "ziua asta de nastere", sa canti, sa razi, sa bei o bere. Cel mai important insa, sa te informezi. Organizatorii au incercat sa dea din toate cate putin. Poate ca nu asta e calea in opinia multor oameni, dar alta mai eficienta si in urma careia sa nu faci puscarie nu am gasit :) Ca sa nu mai zic ca a raspunde la rau cu rau te pune pe acelasi nivel cu "inamicul" tau

Cu siguranta, la eveniment au fost lucruri care puteau merge mai bine, asa ca astept(am) "critici constructive", ca data viitoare sa iasa mai bine. Last but not least, multumim mult ca ati fost acolo! :)

Reply

Graphicfront encourages comments to be short and to the point; as a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.

name

e-mail

please enter the code from image

send