Montevideo (Agenzia Fides) - In order to prevent the implementation of mega mining projects in Tacuarembó, the local Commission "For Life and Water" (see Fides 27/09/2012) collected 1,500 signatures during the Fair "Expo Ganadera" that takes place in the capital of the department of Tacuarembó. The note sent to Fides Agency by the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay informs that last week the campaign to collect signatures in order to prevent the exploitation of open pit mines started: "It is a citizen's right to speak out on this issue, ask legislators to protect the environment, and this is what we are promoting, " explained one member of the Commission.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Tacuarembó, Bishop Julio Bonino Bonino, expressed his support for the initiative, in order to give citizens the opportunity to comment on the proposal to "transform Uruguay in a mining country." The Bishop noted that in the Commission there are no technicians or politicians, and its members are people who want to preserve the immense local natural heritage so that Uruguay becomes a "producer of food." Mgr. Bonino, continues the note, recalls that CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Council) urged the Bishops to ask the State "to carry out the consultation process to facilitate the participation of people affected by mining projects in decisions about the possible implementation of these projects. " "Driven by these motivations - said the Bishop of Tacuarembó - I decided to take a stand and become a part of this Commission called 'Tacuarembó for Life and Water'." (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 23/10/2012)