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IndustriALL and Mexican miners’ union condemn deaths of five miners at Grupo Mexico mine

17 February, 2014Just a few days before the anniversary of the industrial homicide at Pasta de Conchos in 2006, when 65 miners lost their life, five more died on Wednesday 12 February at the San Luis de Potosí mine, when the cage carrying the men plunged 750 metres down a lift shaft.

The Mexican Miners’ Union (SNTMMSRM), affiliated to IndustriALL, calls on the government to take drastic measures to punish those responsible for the latest accident, which has left five families in mourning. The union wants the government to bring criminal charges against the managers and shareholders of Industrial Minera Mexico, a company owned by Grupo Mexico.

The workers and their union blame Grupo Mexico, owned by Germán Feliciano Larrea Mota Velasco, for this accident. It subcontracted maintenance services, but remains responsible for occupational health and safety under Mexican law.

The dead workers are Teódulo Rivera López, 45; Blas Guzmán Gatica, 47; Benito Arriaga Gatica, 56; Juan García Puente, 57 and Isidro Rodríguez Ramírez, 45.

The union has previously criticized Grupo Mexico’s negligence and careless attitude to health and safety, but the company continues to disregard trade union action to increase safety and protect workers’ lives.

On 19 February, it will be eight years since the industrial homicide at Pasta de Conchos Mine 8, Coahuila, in which 65 miners lost their life. The bodies of 63 miners remain in the mine, without a proper burial. None of the managers and technical staff responsible for that tragedy have been prosecuted and the families of the dead have not received the compensation due to them.

Eight years after the industrial homicide at Pasta de Conchos, company negligence and insufficient attention to safety is still causing accidents at Grupo Mexico’s mines. IndustriALL Global Union therefore supports the miners’ call for the government to prosecute those responsible and the state and federal governments to inspect the mines and protect miners’ lives.