Latin America

Latin America’s mining sector a blessing and a curse

Attempts to rescue Mexican miners currently trapped inside a flooded coal mine illustrate the dark side of an industry that is an important contributor to Latin American countries’ economic growth

mining latin america
Mexican miners staging a protest to commemorate the 2006 mine blast outside Grupo Mexico’s building in Mexico City on February 19, 2015. Photo: Edgard Garrido/Reuters via Alamy

Earlier this month, ten coal miners became trapped inside a flooded mine in La Agujita, in the Mexican state of Coahuila. A crew of over 600 people — including army divers with drones — has been mobilized for over two weeks, but so far the rescue teams have been unable to even ascertain the trapped mining workers’ health conditions, let alone bring them to safety. 

Flooding from a nearby mine recently caused water levels to rise again, further setting back rescue efforts and leading the Mexican government to ask for international support. The country is receiving assistance from U.S. and...

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