Mexico: Armed Attack against Miners

The ITUC has firmly condemned the attack by 400 federal police officers at the Cananea and Pasta de Conchos mines.
According to the information received by the ITUC, the police stormed the Cananea mining plant in Sonora on 6 June, firing teargas and forcibly dislodging picketing workers who have been striking to secure justice for almost three years; three people were injured by firearms. On the same day, the armed forces of Coahuila took control of the Pasta de Conchos mine, also owned by Grupo Mexico, where 63 miners lost their lives in a terrible explosion in February 2006. According to Grupo Mexico, the police action at the two mines on the same day was a pure coincidence.

“Unfortunately, with these incidents the Mexican government has broken any hope of peaceful conciliation and dialogue that parliament had opened in recent months in a bid to reach a negotiated settlement to the strikes and the compensation of the widows and families of miners killed at Pasta de Conchos,” said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.

In a letter to the Mexican authorities, the ITUC urged President Calderón to take every action necessary to end the violence against members of the mining, metal and associated workers’ union SNTMMSRM and their families at the Cananea and Pasta de Conchos mines, and to urgently negotiate a settlement with Grupo Mexico that benefits all those involved in this long and distressing mining conflict.

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