Alberto Villatoro, a farmer in the fertile region of Los Cacaos in Chiapas, Mexico, recalls, with a mixture of sadness and anger, how innocently he used to walk over the area’s silvery blue rocks.
“I can remember those metals in the river ever since I was a child,” he told Truthout. “We would kick them around on the paths, unaware that it was titanium.”
Now those same rocks have become highly sought after, and the Chinese mining company Honour Up Trading is seeking to gain control of large swaths of land in Villatoro’s community to exploit one of the biggest seams of titanium in Mexico. “We’ve already had open-pit titanium mining here [in 2009]. Now they want to build the tunnel and leave us living on land resembling an eggshell,” he said. “That would be the end of our shared land.”