AMERICA/ARGENTINA - The Bishops join the protests: No to the bill on metalliferous development in the province of Chubut

Monday, 30 November 2020 human rights   development   local churches   economy  


Chubut (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of the Argentine province of Chubut, in the north-southern part of the country, have once again rejected the bill "Sustainable metalliferous industrial development of the province of Chubut" and asked the provincial governor Mariano Arcioni to desist from such initiative.
In a joint document, the Bishops complain about the lack of responses to the various requests from participatory bodies and suggestions regarding alternative routes, and affirm that in this situation they have no choice but to say "no" to these mega mining projects. "Today we say no; and our no accompanies thousands of people on the streets, in distant places on the plateau ... but also in study and work places who want to make their voice and the fruit of their studies heard". Then they reiterate: "Therefore no, Mr. Governor, the voice and cry of the Catholic Church joins that of the Methodist Church and of countless associations, assemblies and environmental groups".
The letter, released on November 27, is signed by the Bishop of Comodoro Rivadavia, Mgr. Joaquín Gimeno Lahoz; by the Bishop of Esquel, Mgr.José Slaby C.Ss.R. and by the Auxiliary Bishops of Comodoro Rivadavia, Alejandro Benna and Roberto Álvarez.
The mining situation is not the same across the country. There are experiences that demonstrate the possibility of joint management between communities and mining, such as that of San Juan. The day before yesterday, the parish priest of the church of Santo Domingo, in the department of San Juan, Father Romulo Campora, gave a brief interview to the local press where he said that "mining is a possibility of progress, but always in respect of communities and with political responsibility".
Father Campora recalled the words of Pope Francis on the development of mining activities and on the care of the environment. Valuing the contributions of industry to the development of people and communities, he also stressed the need for political commitment for the distribution of resources to generate adequate progress. At the base, an agreement with the community living in the area is necessary, which does not happen in Chubut, where the bill is being carried out without consulting the community. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 30/11/2020)