Bishops denounce irresponsible mining activity, which is destroying the environment, human dignity and social life.
In a recent statement, 12 Bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Medellín and Santa Fe de Antioquia (Colombia) said: “As pastors, we have repeatedly raised our voices 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”.
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.”
In this area of Colombia, the Church and rural communities have long denounced intensive 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 group is committed to denouncing irresponsible mining activity”, they conclude.