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Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Participates in Third Day of Reflection on “Mining for the Common Good” May 8th, 2019
Fr Séamus participated in a Day of Reflection on “Mining for the Common Good” in Rome, Italy where Pope Francis addressed participants at the event on Friday, May 3rd. This marks the 3rd time a day of reflection on the role of mining has been convened at the Vatican by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development. Two events on a similar theme were convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace in 2014 and 2016.
All these events have wrestled with the role of mining throughout history while recognizing both its numerous contributions to human achievement and at the same time its destructive and very negative consequences for certain regions of the planet, and for the peoples and communities who have called some of these areas home for centuries.
Pope Francis highlighted a number of themes and issues that mining raises for faith traditions, governments, the planet, indigenous peoples and civil society. He also suggested some of the avenues and questions we need to consider in our search for answers. These are both on the macro scale of reforming the economic system in which extractive companies operate and curtailing the consumerist waste-generating lifestyles that too many of us follow.
In his address, Pope Francis also highlighted the need for multi-stakeholder dialogue that includes all parties, including those very critical of the industry. He encouraged all participants to enter into these engagements in a spirit of genuine dialogue that seeks to deliver solutions that demonstrate genuine care for “our common home” and ensures that those without access to basic human needs benefit from the resources that mining produces. He also sees a role for religions in fostering these types of dialogues, by articulating a vision that connects people, planet and the transcendent.
Religious and Civil Society Groups Challenge Violent Repression of Peruvian Mining Protests July 12th, 2012
The Oblates JPIC Office joined a broad array of civil society and religious groups expressing serious concern to the Peruvian government about the “alarming escalation in the repression of free speech, police brutalities, and human rights violations” in the country, largely related to mining activities. Indigenous communities, whose water supplies and way of life are threatened by the mining developments, have refused their consent to such projects. The government’s response has been heavy-handed, with the death of five people since the beginning of July 2012, and numerous injuries. The international groups resolved to continue to monitor and publicize developments, and asked the government to:
- Immediately halt the repression and violent attacks against protestors.
- Lift the “State of Emergency” that violates citizen rights and has led to the militarization of the region, with the potential to lead to additional acts of violence.
- Immediately undertake an independent investigation into the brutal arrest of Father Marco Arana and the intimidation of other leaders of the opposition to the Conga project.
- Adopt a mandate of community consent prior to all extractive industry projects, as the lack of consent is the largest driver of social conflicts in Peru.