Colombia: Pope's message of hope for communities affected by mining


Pax Christi International supports Iglesias y Minería, the Churches and Mining Network, which is promoting communities' human rights affected by mining through advocacy actions and accompaniment from it's faith-based committment. CIDSE recently posted this article welcoming the Pope's message of hope for communities affected by mining activities in Latin America.

CIDSE, the international family of Catholic social justice agencies, welcomes the address of Pope Francis in Colombia who focused his intervention on the peace process underway in the country.

CIDSE’s Secretary General Josianne Gauthier said: “We fully support the Pope’s call for reconciliation and peace. The situation that has disrupted the life of so many people in Colombia for far too long. We hope that a new peaceful context will also create a favorable environment for addressing related burning issues such as the human rights situation, which has been directly and negatively impacted by the way in which natural resource extraction is happening in the country”.

The Holy Father reiterated messages from his encyclical Laudato Si’ of respect of creation. Reflecting on the inequalities that exist today, the Pope stressed that the economic model in place should respect the people and especially the poor. According to the Holy Father, mega-mining projects have ethical implications as they have an impact on access to energy and consumption and distribution of resources, as well as on the economic development in general. This is especially relevant in Colombia where the extractive industry sector is key for Foreign Direct Investments while not contributing significantly to the GDP. As our partners from the network “Iglesias Y Minería” point out in their press release the exploitation of resources to the detriment of local populations is a burning issue in Latin America. CIDSE endorses their call, asking Pope Francis for support against the attempts to open the Amazonian reserve RENCA in Brazil for mining purposes. The area, consisting of 4 million hectares of jungle, is currently home to many indigenous communities. Mining this land would mean taking their home away and directly attacking their human rights...

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Iglesias y Minería, Churches and Mining Network, Colombia, CIDSE, Pope Francis