March begins today to support or oppose many projects

Six organizations, including three political parties, are planning a march staring this morning from San José to Mirimar.

The route is along the new Autopista del Sol, which is one of the works some of the group are protesting.

Participating are the political parties, Frente Amplio, Acción Ciudadana and the Partido Verde Ecologista. Also marching are representatives from Frente Nacional de Territorios Costeros Comunitarios, Movimiento Patriótico Juanito Mora and Juventud Progresista de Cartago. Each appears to have their own agenda.

The Partido Verde or green party seeks to stop the Diquis Dam Project planned by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. A spokesman said that the party is concerned about the impact on the native residents of the area, the environment and also methane gas that would be produced by vegetation blooded by water backing up from the dam.

Frente Amplio seeks to have the contract under which the autopista was constructed renegotiated.

Most, if not all, of the parties oppose the resumption of mining activities at Miramar where the Bellavista Mine was damaged heavily by a landslide.

Those who will make the hike, which will last six days, are getting a send off at the Estadio Nacional this morning.
The residents of the costal areas are pushing for a proposed law that will protect them from being evicted under terms of the current maritime legislation.

The march was a successful technique that drew attention to the Las Crucitas Mine in northern Costa Rica.

Both operations are run by Canadian mining firms through subsidiaries here. Heavy rains caused the soil on which refining operations at the Bellevista mine rested to move, and key elements of the mining process slid downhill. Mining operations there started in April 2005, and operator Glencairn Gold Corp. ended them in August 2007 due to ground movement. The landslide happened the next October. Gold has soared in value since the closing.

The Bellevista Mine is in Montes de Oro near the town of Miramar east of Puntarenas.

The mine concession now is held by a firm called B2Gold, which said that it and Glencairn have conducted an extensive monitoring program and site reclamation. The firm said that the Secretaria Tecnica National Ambiental conducted audits of the site that show the soil has remained stable and that there has been no contamination of surface or groundwater.

Las Crucitas, operated by Industrias Infinito S.A, is appealing a lower court ruling that the award of its concession was irregular. The mine site is at Cutris de San Carlos. The Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo ordered the central government to cancel the mineral concession.

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