During a mining forum held at Jalisco’s Congress, local authorities and industry experts agreed on the need to create an appropriate legal framework meets the industry’s needs, as well as modernizes the way mining is done in Mexico.
During the State’s Forum for Mining and Review of the Mining Law, state authorities, entrepreneurs and industry experts agreed that the industry needs to focus on more than production, paying close attention to the rights of Indigenous peoples, as well as to employment and health.
According to Citizens’ Movement (MC) Representative Higinio del Toro, the forum’s main objective was to propose modifications to the Mining Law, which attendants consider to be outdated legislation. The forum aims to start with local proposals to eventually cause an impact on the federal level. “I could offer the possibility to work locally toward a new law in the state, to use forums like this to source it, because the [mining] issue goes beyond production. It has to do with Indigenous peoples, big transnationals and to the regulation of jobs,” del Toro added.
Del Toro urged to update mining practices a clear labor strategy that enables companies to avoid accidents, adding that “we need to create a new environmental pact, we cannot understand the current mining activity if it is not ruled by a new environmental pact, we cannot continue to produce like in ancient times,” del Toro added.
Participants agreed on the creation of certified laboratories to support the extraction minerals, retaining production in the country, speeding up permit granting, promoting women’s participation in the industry and supporting SMEs.
Federal Deputy María del Carmen Almeida participated virtually. She highlighted the importance of technical and scientific knowledge during exploration and production phases and urged attendants to work closely with nearby communities to trigger mutual development.
Jalisco’s Minister of Labor, Marco Pérez, attended the forum on behalf of Governor Gabriel Alfaro. He agreed on working on environmental, Indigenous community and labor issues, adding that the industry and the state’s needs have changed over time.
Jalisco is one of Mexico’s most dynamic states regarding where its GDP comes from. The mining industry, which stands out for its production of silver, lead, zinc, gold and copper, is mostly present in the southern areas of the state.