They come from Africa, Latin America and Asia. They've individually seen how mining industries have exploited their country's natural resources and in the process devastated their communities. Everything from precious stones to water.
JUAN GUILLERMO PEÑALOZA SIERRA
Diocese of Copiapó (Chile)
"One of the main issues is water and the way in which it's misused. It comes into our communities naturally but those resources are drained by mining companies. This results in the population not having enough water. It also limits agriculture.”
The Vatican is listening in on their stories. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is hosting a two day conference, from July 17th to the 19th titled: A day of reflection. United with God, we hear a cry. It's a way to hear first hand accounts of what's happening and what can be done to help vulnerable communities.
For example, this man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He lost his job to a mining company that purchased the land he worked in. He says he was then violently targeted.
CARD. PETER TURKSON
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
"All these voices lead to the same direction: Faced before these situations, we cannot allow indifference, cynicism or impunity to continue.”
It's a message that ties in to the Pope's recently published encyclical, 'Laudato Si,' which highlights the need to respect mother nature and to not take advantage of its resources. In fact, Pope Francis issued a letter to organizers of this conference to show his support.