Religious working for mining affected

Mining HondurasClosed mines haunt two towns in Honduras as threats against activists mount

Global Sisters Report is focusing a special series on mining and extractive industries and the women religious who work to limit damage and impact on people and the environment, through advocacy, action and policy. Pope Francis last year called for the entire mining sector to undergo “a radical paradigm change.” Sisters are on the front lines to help effect that change.

The mines no longer operate.

The large trucks that carried heavy equipment no longer rumble down dirt roads fogging the air with dust.

The workers no longer trudge along those same roads inhaling the dust weighted by the humidity of dawn.

Community opposition succeeded in shutting down mines in Nueva Esperanza in northern Honduras and El Tránsito far to the south near the border of Nicaragua. But to many people in these two small towns the closings serve only as a pyrrhic victory.
“We were threatened: ‘You better not show your face in this town again,’ ” said Sr. Maria de Rosario Soriano, a member of the Messengers of the Immaculate order, who with other sisters from her community supported anti-mining activists in Nueva Esperanza. “We didn’t go to Nueva Esperanza for a few weeks. Even the priests and our mother superior told us it was better to stay away for a while.”

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Justice and Peace Mining Working Group

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