Why mining operations are failing

Area deforested by illegal gold mining seen in Peru. (Reuters photo)

Large-scale mining and extractive operations are failing to deliver economic benefits while causing environmental damage and human suffering throughout Latin America, according to a coalition of church organizations and environmental groups. The Churches and Mining Network, which includes Catholic bishops, priests and laypeople and leaders of Christian churches and environmentalists, said in a statement that governments, church leaders and civil society organizations need to find alternatives to so-called megamining operations. “We are aware that defending Creation, in a predatory system whose highest purpose is profit and money, is an action that involves danger and the risk of death. But we are encouraged by the Gospel of Jesus, the encyclical ‘Laudato Si’,’ and by the strength of the many communities affected by mining and other extractive industries,” the network said in the statement released on Sept. 4, following a meeting in Colombia.

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