AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Dialogue on illegal mining, a first positive approach

Thursday, 27 July 2017 environment   human rights   bishops  

Antioquia (Agenzia Fides) – The meeting between Colombian Minister for Mining and Energy Carlos Andrés Cante and the Catholic Bishops held on 24 July in order to clarify the main points of this activity in different parts of the country led to a first positive approach. While the Bishops expressed great concern for the human, environmental and social corruption and deterioration associated with illegal mining, the Vice minister emphasized the strong contribution to community development and the benefit in the field of work that a proper and controlled mining activity can give to the country.
"We have a common enemy and it is called illegal mining and must be stopped by everyone. The Catholic Church has fought on many fronts to help the community, to defend the integrity of people, and we also agree, because Colombia is a country with a mining tradition and this extraction, if done well, fights poverty and creates well-being for families", said the representative of the Colombian government.
The meeting was attended by officials from the Ministry of Mining and Energy, the Secretariat for Mining Activities in Antioquia, the Archbishop of Medellin, the Archbishop of Santa Fe de Antioquia, the Bishops of Jerico, Caldas, Apartadó, Sonsón, Santa Rosa de Osos and the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Medellin.
The Church has always had a prominent role in defending territory and population in this economic sector of the country, protecting water sources, as in the case of the diocese of Jericho (see Fides 2/06/2017), or against the exploitation of natural resources without control in Medellin and Santa Fe di Antioquia (see Fides 14/07/2016), and also in other cases. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 27/07/2017)