Extractives in Latin America

“We, the indigenous people of Guaviare (Colombia), are part of nature because we are water, air, earth and life of the environment created by God. Therefore, we ask that the mistreatment and extermination of ‘Mother Earth’ cease. The earth has blood and is bleeding, the multinationals have cut the veins of our ‘Mother Earth’. We want our indigenous cry to be heard by the whole world.”

—Instrumentum Laboris, 17


Many Latin American communities have been heavily affected by companies exploiting natural resources, such as oil, gas, gold, silver, iron, copper, and tin, as well as by other large-scale development projects. The situation continues to deteriorate as extractive activities by transnational corporations increase substantially due to the support of Latin American governments via economic incentives and legal changes.

Pax Christi International is – in support of its Latin American project aimed at accompanying members and partners on the ground – pushing for the problems created by extractives industries in Latin America (especially by US, Canadian and European companies) to receive higher priority on the human rights, trade and development agendas of the international community and for the voices of the communities most directly affected to be heard.

For more information see our 2017 position paper in English and Spanish version on extractives in Latin America.

Please see this video of Sister Pat Ryan, President of our member organization, Human Rights and Environment (DHUMA)/Pax Christi Peru and Board member, at a 2019 panel discussion on the EU-MERCOSUR Trade Agreement in Brussels.


In Solidarity with FRAYBA, Mexico

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Pax Christi International and its partners express great concern about the serious and recurrent threats against our Member Organization, the Centre for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (Frayba), for its work defending indigenous human rights in Chiapas,

The statement is available in English, and Spanish.


Workshop “Conflict Transformation and Advocacy” in San Salvador

The Latin America and Carribean Coordinator Martha Inés Romero and Alejandro Carías, an environmentalist from San Salvador, have been in San Salvador for four days working with the communities affected by extractivism.

Context Analysis, Conflict Transformation and Nonviolence, and Advocacy are some of the useful tools and methodologies used for developing Advocacy action plans, which are part of the seven-countries Project, with the participants.

The project “Latin America between Violence and Hope, which is now at its third phase of the three-years, will be implemented.

More info about the project here: paxchristi.net/programmes/between-violence-and-hope/


Panel Discussion: ‘Extractivism in Latin America’ – October 23rd 2019 – Rome, Italy

Pax Christi International is happy to invite you to participate at the Panel Discussion on ‘Extractivism in Latin America’  to be held in October 23rd 2019 at Iglesia de la Traspontina – Via della Conciliazione 14c, 00193 Roma RM, ITALY. Please register here


Our statement in support of the Vatican Synod on the Amazon

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Brussels – On 6-27 of October 2019, the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region will be held at the Vatican, following its announcement by Pope Francis in 2017. The meeting comes at a very timely moment as the situation of indigenous communities and environmental degradation in the Amazon region is getting more critical in terms of violence, extractivism and other preoccupying situations.

Recently, the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology, the working document to be discussed during the Synod, was published. Through a statement released today, Pax Christi International, together with its members and partners from Europe, the U.S., Canada and Latin America, expresses its support for the Synod and post-Synod process, welcomes the working document and shares with the Vatican, the universal and local church points for consideration for its reflections and discernment.

Pax Christi International will share the document with the Secretariat of the Vatican preparing the Synod, bishops who will attend the meeting, networks in which the peace movement is active, and Catholic media. Pax Christi International is also planning to attend parallel activities organised during the Synod by civil society with a Guatemalan delegation, including an indigenous representative.

The statement is available in both English and Spanish.