Medellin (Agenzia Fides) - "As pastors, we have repeatedly raised our voice, and drawn attention to the harmful effects of the exploitation of natural resources, in particular the irresponsible management of the mines. These activities have led to serious consequences for the environment, human dignity and social life in our communities", says a statement sent to Fides and signed by 12 Bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Medellín and Santa Fe de Antioquia (Colombia).
The Bishops have asked the Colombian government, national and international companies and civil society, to "act decisively to prevent mechanized mining, which with dredges and bulldozers, continues to destroy the environment and the health of people in our Country. It should implement effective measures to stop the current environmental and social disaster", said the statement.
In this area of Colombia, the Church and rural communities have long denounced the strong deforestation to make way for open pit mines, and the damage caused to the environment and people due to contamination by mercury, used in the extraction of gold and silver.
The Bishops point out that, as part of the strategy against illegal mining, we must denounce the corruption of some public officials, make State institutions operational and combat these illegal armed groups. "Similarly, in the perspective of the post-agreement with FARC, they must ensure that this guerrilla is obliged to definitively renounce to irresponsible mining activity", concludes the text. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 14/07/2016)