Bolivia's plan to build nuclear power plant alarming to Native Americans

 

Native Americans warn Bolivia of legacy of death from uranium mining and nuclear testing

 

By Brenda Norrell

 

The announcement by Bolivia President Evo Morales that Bolivia would build a nuclear power plant is troubling news to those who attended the Climate Change and Protection of Mother Earth Conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2010.

Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, living in O'odham Territory on the so-called US Mexico border, was among those from the north at the conference in Bolivia and played a pivotal role.

Rivas told Censored News, "As co-President of the Indigenous Working Group on the Rights of Mother Earth at the 2010 World Indigenous Climate Change Summit, I recommend a worldwide petition to express our deep concern of this 'economic liberation' development decision in Bolivia. I recall the words of the grassroots women of Bolivia, and their deep heartfull love of Pachamama, Mother Earth and the absolute determination to protect her.”

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced that his government will invest around $2 billion US through 2025 to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, TeleSur reports. President Morales said, "We can never feel like a small country again now that we have liberated ourselves economically. With this type of investment toward atomic energy we are going to guarantee that.”

The nuclear power plant would be built in La Paz province. The announcement was made after uranium was discovered in the Santa Cruz area. In a strange turn of event, La Paz and Santa Cruz were two of the cities that Native Americans arrived in for the Mother Earth Conference in 2010, before traveling on to Cochabamba.

Following the gathering in Cochabamba, Bolivia and Ecuador both passed laws upholding the Rights of Nature.

In Indian country in the United States, Native Americans are quick to point out the dangers of uranium mining and nuclear waste dumps to Indigenous Peoples in Bolivia. Navajos, Pueblos and Western Shoshone have suffered the legacy of death from uranium mining and nuclear testing.

Klee Benally, Dine' (Navajo) said, "The nuclear production process has only meant death for Indigenous Peoples and desecration of sacred lands. From mining, milling, processing, transporting, energy, weapons, and waste, the toxic legacy of nuclear colonialism is anything but a "green alternative."

"There are more than 10,000 abandoned uranium mines located throughout the US, many of them are in or near Indigenous communities where high cancer rates and birth defects are caused by exposure to these toxic sites. Sacred places like Mount Taylor in New Mexico or Red Butte in Arizona, are desecrated for uranium extraction. The US currently has more than 71,000 metric tons of that it's attempting to store at Yucca Mountain, a sacred site for the Western Shoshone. The Western Shoshone have also faced more than 1,000 atomic bomb detonations on their lands," Klee Benally told Censored News.

Responding to the deadly dangers of uranium mining and nuclear waste storage, Louise Benally, Dine' of Big Mountain, told Censored News, "It is all bad, it is not safe."

The dangers were resounded in an open letter from the global community to President Morales, posted on Breaking the Nuclear Chain: "The safety of a nuclear plant is a myth, fuelled by industry supporters and industrialists, but clearly denied by the facts: the last half-century shows that we must expect an extremely serious accident every few years. The consequences of a major nuclear accident are worse than those of any other accident. The legacy of the Fukushima accident alone will last for decades to burden Japan and the world!"

Read full story at Censored News http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2014/11/bolivias-nuclear-power-plant-is.html

For permission to repost this article, contact brendanorrell@gmail.com 

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

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http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.