To mark its 10th anniversary, the Churches and Mining Network, of which Pax Christi International is a proud member, celebrated with a special event – the V Continental Meeting – held in Guatemala from November 3 to 8, 2023.
We were honored to attend the meeting, which gathered 80 people from 16 Latin American countries and Europe, coming from indigenous, peasant, and urban communities affected by mining—religious and spiritual leaders, and members of organizations that make up the network. We met to evaluate and reaffirm our commitment to the defense of all creation, territorial rights, as well as the livelihoods of people affected by extractivism and global warming.
Despite facing environmental degradation and a growingly violent system affecting politics, society, and the economy, the Iglesias y Minería’s network strengthened its commitment to expose a system built on resource extraction, treating territories as sources of exploitation. Through the voices of a diverse assembly, including faith-based and community organizations, activists, and environmental defenders, a call for hope emerged. This hope is rooted in the belief that confronting the oppressive “empire” is possible, and real change can come from the affected territories through collective organization and resistance.
The road is long and the times are increasingly difficult, however, we feel renewed in the courage of Jesus, in his commitment to the defense of life and so we sing and shout together with thousands of sisters and brothers that: We will continue to fight! Until when? Until always!
All images belong to Iglesias y Minería. Pictures of the V Continental Meeting ©Guilherme Cavalli/RIM