By Edinson Luzardo Nava
The fishermen of Ancón de Iturre, Francisco Perozo and Henry Perozo, again detected a presumed “spill” of toxic salt from the production of natural salt by the solar industrial method, in the Ciénaga de los Olivitos Wetland, by the salt company PRODUSAL , in the San José parish, Miranda municipality, Zulia state, Venezuela. They visited the mangroves near the beach of the Ancón de Iturre fishing village, where they realized that a significant amount of the mangrove forest is drying up in an unexpected way.
The reactive nature that occurred in the humanity of the artisanal fishermen of the town of Ancón de Iturre, as a result of the alleged spill of AMARGOS spilled by the PRODUSAL salt company in the Ciénaga de Los Olivitos Wetland in two storms that Mother Nature produced in this protected area, and that the company took advantage of once it was at the ideal moment for the exploitation corresponding to this season.
As has already been said on other occasions, of 100% of the shares of the PRODUSAL company, 70% belong to one of the most polluting companies in the United States, CARGILL SALT, with the solar industrial exploitation model, destroyer of any ecosystem that is subjected to that devastating regime.
Taking into consideration that Environmental Law has been created by environmental crimes committed in protected areas, among others, worldwide, whose objective is the protection, defense, conservation and enrichment, that is, the integral legal protection of the environment, product of This complex relationship between human beings, society and nature, despite its creation, we say, the push of environmental devastators materialized in transnational companies and the complacency of people in different governmental strata, is undeniable, putting, at times, the same environmental sovereignty in these important protected areas of each country.
CARGILT SALT, PRODUSAL's largest shareholder, protected by its production of certain food items, have taken advantage of this device so that since the past government of Rafael Caldera they have entered the Ciénaga de Los Olivitos Wetland to destroy it and there we go, and the actions and events are proving it, that at the rate that progresses in producing more tons of natural salt per year by this industrial solar method, we will surely have a Ciénaga de los Olivitos converted into a pool of salt.
The natural reaction of the fishermen Francisco Perozo and Henry Perozo to another spill of AMARGOS, that is, toxic from the salt exploitation that occurred between July 6 and 12 of this year by the PRODUSAL company. Damage caused to the living species that spend the night in this vital Wetland, to the very health of the fishermen themselves, since the spill that the company has dumped for years in special atmospheric situations, contaminates the water mirror of the Wildlife Refuge and Reserve of Ciénaga de los Olivitos fishing, which has produced on the skin of the fisherman and other people who spend the night there, epidermal diseases which are difficult to cure and the treatments are very expensive, as in the case of Romer Contreras, who, once doing a follow-up To this spill of AMARGOS and without knowing its consequences, he became contaminated and his feet were treated for a year with a dermatologist. Likewise, the heavy metals found in these saline wastes contaminate the fish species, and some die because they are very susceptible to changes in the salinity of the water, such as clams and chipi chipi. Those who endure the saline change there is the possibility that the fish that the person consumes is contaminated with heavy metals. In talks that fishermen have received by biologists from the University of Zulia, they have been made aware of this.
This latest spill of which these noble fishermen assert, translates into the fact that on the beaches of the fishing population where they live, Ancón de Iturre, in an unexpected way and very quickly, the mangroves are drying up and dead fish species have appeared burst, typical of the very high salinity of BITTERS, they destroy the liver. In addition, an important element for them is represented by the fact that the water found at the base of the mangroves is reddish in color and its taste is extremely salty, which makes their mouth itch, having to use too much fresh water to be able to remove that bitter from the lips and tongue; the reddish color and the extremely salty taste are the main characteristics of the saline toxic or BITTER.
It should be noted that for more than ten years accumulated of formal protests before old and new official entities, ranging from the offices of the Mayor's Office of the Miranda municipality, Zulia state, the Ministry of the Environment, National Congress, National Assembly, Attorney General of the Republic , and the Ombudsman's Office, have led the Zulia fishing communities to seek new and more effective ways to avoid the destruction of the way of life that provides daily sustenance to fishermen and their families.
After the new spill caused by the PRODUSAL company, artisanal fishermen assert, between July 6 and 12, there was a meeting of the five (5) Councils of Artisanal Fishermen of the Miranda municipality, Zulia state, to deal with this delicate issue that It restricts their right to carry out their daily tasks as AMARGOS mega spills have been reducing the fishery in Bahía El Tablazo and in authorized sites in Ciénaga de los Olivitos, and of course continue with the process of converting this site into RAMSAR a real pool of salt. In this sense, the five Councils of Fishermen will establish a position, once again, before the authorities of the Ministry of the Environment, Institute for the Conservation of Lake Maracaibo (ICLAM), Attorney General's Office, Ombudsman's Office, National Assembly and even the President Hugo Chávez, again before the first magistracy, since in February 2000 they attended the Miraflores Palace and President Chávez, announced a military authority, could not attend them because he was back from the island of Cuba.
The fishing communities of all sectors of the North Coast of the Miranda municipality, that is, Bella Vista de la Candelaria, El Caimán, El Mamón, Los Jovitos, Sabaneta de Palmas and Ancón de Iturre, have for years lost confidence in the environmental body who have tried to silence the protests of the POPULAR POWER, the COMMUNAL POWER and favor the capitalist interests of one of the most polluting and destabilizing companies in the world, CARGILL SALT, with 70% of the PRODUSAL company, which sells the salt to, among others, the chlorine soda plant of the petrochemical company, and also to produce in one of its plants the fearsome carcinogenic polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Authorities of the Ministry of the Environment have tried for years to persuade the leaders of that fishing community to accept the laying of the AMARGOS pipeline to El Tablazo Bay, with their artificial techno-scientism, to which the community of Ancón de Iturre has answered them emphatically NO, since it would destroy that fishing potential in which more than 7,000 fishermen benefit in the understanding that the Ciénaga de los Olivitos is a Fishing Reserve, where more than 40 commercial species of fish spawn which they are spread throughout the northern part of Lake Maracaibo, on the one hand, and the other accelerates the process of destruction of this RAMSAR site in which there are more than 4,000 hectares of mangroves.
The fishing community does not want under any circumstances to repeat the event that occurred on August 22, 1999, in which the PRODUSAL company tried to lay the AMARGOS pipeline from the storage area to the beach where the fishermen spend the night, in the Bay El Tablazo, authorized by the Zulia Ministry of the Environment, for which there was a resounding response from the fishing community, setting fire to a truck belonging to the salt company and burning the pipe through which the AMARGOS would dump into El Tablazo Bay.
The North Coast of the Miranda municipality of Zulia state, has become an emporium of Chavismo, so all the spokesmen of the five Fishermen's Councils make a call for Justice to President Chávez in order to expropriate the PRODUSAL company since in In March of this year, it announced the confiscation of the CARGILL of Venezuela, in which the salt company must be and put it at the service of the majority of whom are more than 7000 fishermen, reorienting the salt project since Decree 1,656, in its 4th article states that the intakes are from the sea (Caribbean Sea) and not from the Ciénaga de los Olivitos. It should be noted, as a culmination, that the fishing production of the Miranda municipality, Zulia state represents 33% of the regional production from the Fishing Reserve and part of this fish goes out daily to supply the markets of the capital of the Republic. The first photo, 645, is that of the fisherman Francisco Perozo with an artisanal fishing hammock in his house, and the second photo is that of Henry Perozo, also a fisherman, on a site on the beach of the polygonal de la Ciénaga de Los Olivitos, in which he points out the mangroves drying up.
Edinson Luzardo Nava - Tec. Industrial, Environmentalist