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2013-10-16

AMERICA/NICARAGUA - A city isolated by the miners, Mgr. René Sándigo at work to appease the conflict

Juigalpa (Agenzia Fides) - For two days the miners in the mining area of "Cafetal" completely closed the road leading to the town of Santo Domingo, Chontales (about 120 km east of Managua, capital of Nicaragua) to protest against the Canadian mining company B2Gold. Maybe today, after an initial intervention of His Exc. Mgr. René Sócrates Sándigo Jirón, Bishop of Juigalpa (Nicaragua), we hope to clear the path and start dialogue between the parties. Mgr. René Sándigo, who is also the President of the Episcopal Conference, as reported in a note sent to Fides Agency, at the request of small groups of miners was able to contact the parties with several phone calls, as he himself said, so "we are managing to clarify and communicate, and thus reach an agreement and put an end to the conflict".
In this area of Nicaragua there are small groups of miners (gathered under the single name of "Cafetal") who work on various projects of the Canadian B2Gold company. For about a month these groups have demanded compensation for various reasons (instrumental material, transportation, contamination ... ) but was refused. The B2Gold , to show its availability, presented the situation to the Nicaraguan Centre de Derechos Humanos (Cenidh), but the groups of miners ask for a government intervention to clarify the legal situation of all workers, because one does not know the accurate number of those working in the area.
In Canada the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (Occdp) has recently launched a campaign of education and action in response to concerns expressed by the local Church and the Bishops of the South American Countries about the work of mining carried out by some Canadian oil companies. In past days the representatives of the Episcopal Conferences of Peru, the Philippines and the Democratic Republic of the Cong , met with the Bishops and the Canadian civil society to illustrate experiences and problems of their respective Countries caused by the activity of some mining companies and multinationals that have proven to be insensitive to the needs of the population. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 16/10/2013)

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