LatinNews Daily - 23 October 2023

In brief: Mexico’s mining union ends protest in Sonora

* Members of Mexico’s mining union (SNTMMSSRM) have ended a three-day protest at the Buenavista copper mine in Sonora state's Caneana municipality, which is owned by the Grupo México conglomerate. The SNTMMSRM announced that the protests had “produced results” and that it had been agreed that state governor Alfonso Durazo of the ruling left-wing Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena) would meet with union leader and Morena Senator Napoleón Gómez on 31 October. The protesters had gathered in the mining town of Cananea to demand the resolution of a labour conflict that dates back to the privatisation of the mine in 1990, when ownership passed to Grupo México. Protesters also sought guarantees for those affected by a waste spill from the mine in 2014 into the Sonora and Bacanuchi rivers. The protesters blocked the main entrances and exits to the mine, disrupting transportation and blocking access for subcontracted workers involved in maintaining the mine’s facilities and infrastructure expansion. In August, Mexico’s environment ministry (Semarnat) presented a criminal complaint against Grupo México, which is owned by businessman Germán Larrea, over its response to the spill. On 18 October Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed that Grupo México had sent a proposal to the interior ministry (Segob) to establish a working group to address the impact of the spill on the Sonora river.

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