Cananea Miners Ask President López Obrador for Help
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Cananea Miners Ask President López Obrador for Help

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Fernando Mares By Fernando Mares | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Mon, 07/18/2022 - 16:01

Leaders of the National Union of Mining, Metallurgical, Steel and Similar Workers (SNTMSSRM) section 65 asked President López Obrador for a meeting and his direct involvement after their meeting with Interior Minister Adán Augusto López two months ago was unfruitful.

Nabor Duarte, General Secretary Section 65, SNTMSSRM, expressed his anger. He said that although President López Obrador instructed Agusto López to meet the workers’ demands, the interior minister ignored them. Duarte warned that if the workers do not get what they want, there will be consequences. “At Cananea, workers are unhappy and desperate because of Adan Augusto’s lies, who has not met with us for months… [our] people will take action,” Duarte added.

Antonio Navarrete, Speaker, SNTMSSRM, said that if they receive no reply, members of the revision committee will return to Cananea to inform the local miners’ assembly of the government’s “lack of willingness” to take further action. Both union representatives held Augusto López responsible for the future committee’s decisions. They stated that next week, Cananea’s assembly will meet. The decision that the assembly takes will be backed by the revision committee in Mexico City. 

On May 11, 2022, SNTMSSRM representatives and Augusto López met for the first time. In that meeting, the union presented the key points it wanted to see resolved to finish the strike, based on the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) to the Mexican Government. After that meeting, the government set May 21, 2022, to hold another meeting where it said it would reveal how to meet demands. Nevertheless, this meeting never took place because Augusto López went on tour to Sonora with President López Obrador. Following this, the government never set another date to hold a new meeting. 

On July 30, 2007, miners of Cananea went on strike, ensuring no production has taken place at the Grupo México project since. According to the workers, they asked for better safety conditions at the mine. The conflict extended for almost 15 years, without any positive developments. On Jan. 19, 2022, workers blocked the highway that connects Cananea with Imuris in Sonora for four days to protest the government’s reluctance to meet the union’s demands. On July 14, representatives of the union went to the national palace to ask for the government’s attention, but received no response. 

President López Obrador recognized that the problem has not been solved, but said important progress had been achieved. He committed to continuing to enable a dialogue between the parties. “We have been moving forward to conciliate the parties… I will continue to call for dialogue, always in the benefit of the workers," said López Obrador.

Photo by:   Federal Government

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