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Still no justice, ten years after the Pasta de Conchos homicide

18 February, 2016Ten years after the mining homicide at Pasta de Conchos, Mexico, the government has still not conducted a thorough investigation into the real causes of the disaster, brought those responsible to justice, recovered the bodies or compensated the families of the victims.

How many more tragedies have to occur before justice is done and we put an end to impunity? It would be wonderful if the Mexican government led by Enrique Peña Nieto could find a definitive solution to this unjust situation,

said Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, President of the Mexican Union of Miners and Metalworkers’ Union (SNTMMSRM), affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union.

On 19 February 2006, there was an explosion at Coal Mine 8 owned by the mining company Grupo Mexico in Pasta de Conchos, Coahuila. Sixty-five miners died and nine suffered multiple burns. Years later, the bodies of 63 of the dead miners still lie buried 100 metres underground because the company suspended attempts to recover the bodies.

This February 18, on the eve of the tenth anniversary, the First National Mining Forum 2016 will take place at the headquarters of Los Mineros, in which members of the National Executive Committee, the General Vigilance, Justice Council and national and international figures will participate. The Regional Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Almeida is going to represent IndustriALL Global Union at the occasion.

Moreover, on 19 February there will be held a protest march to the Ministries of Interior, Labour and Social Welfare, and to Grupo Mexico. They will demand the recovery of the bodies, a fair compensation to the families of those killed and punishment of the responsible for the industrial homicide.

According to Gómez Urrutia, the company acted negligently by suspending attempts to recover the bodies and refusing to remedy safety problems at the mine prior to the disaster, problems that were reported by members of the Joint Health and Safety Committee many times: “The Miners’ Union demanded immediate action but mean and arrogant company managers, led by Germán Larrea and Xavier García de Quevedo, refused to do anything”, he said.

IndustriALL urges the federal government to put an end to impunity, respect workers' rights, ensure that justice is done and show respect for the dignity of the dead and their families.

Fernando Lopes, IndustriALL assistant general Secretary said:

Los Mineros and IndustriALL continue to demand the punishment of those responsible, the recovery of human remains and a fair compensation for the families.