A month after the collapse of the coal mine in Sabinas, Coahuila, which trapped 10 miners, the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) announced it obtained an arrest warrant against three people that are presumably responsible for the mine’s collapse.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF), the suspects include a person that allegedly directed and managed illegal subsoil exploitation activities and two others that allowed the illegal development of such activities. FGR had previously had a hearing where MPF charged the owner of the collapsed mine, who, according to local media, did not comply with the obligations described in the legislation regarding mining activities.
FGR stated that the three suspects will be prosecuted under the grounds of illegal exploitation of a national asset. According to the National Assets Law, those who use, harness or exploit a national asset without previously obtaining a concession, permit or contract must be punished with imprisonment from two to 12 years.
According to local media and civil associations, there is still doubt regarding the ownership of the mine, even involving the Mayor of Sabinas. To address any uncertainty regarding the mine’s administration, President López Obrador asked FGR to fully investigate the owners.
As a result of the mine’s collapse, government officials brought to the public agenda the need to make mining regulations more severe and asked for better working conditions for miners. Two MORENA senators, Alejandro Armenta and Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, said that a comprehensive reform to the Mining Law is required and asked for the ratification of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Safety and Health In Mines Convention, arguing that mining is one of the most dangerous extractive activities.
Gómez Urrutia is also head of the National Union of Mining, Metallurgical, Steel and Similar Workers of the Mexican Republic (SNTMMSSRM). On this matter, López Obrador also said it may be time to propose a comprehensive reform to ensure safer conditions and prevent incidents like the one that occurred in Sabinas.