Large-scale mining and extractive operations are failing to deliver economic benefits while causing environmental damage and human suffering throughout Latin America, said a coalition of church organizations and environmental groups.
The Churches and Mining Network, which includes Catholic bishops, priests and laypeople, leaders of Christian churches and environmentalists, said in a statement Sunday that governments, church leaders and civil society organizations need to find alternatives to so-called "mega-mining" operations.
Eco Catholic: Authorities arrested four men May 2 in the murder of Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres Flores.
Pope Francis' visit to Cuba and the U.S. comes as people and politicians in both countries increasingly support ending an economic embargo that has lasted for more than five decades.
Cardinal-designate Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago, Chile, said he would serve the church with "humility and simplicity" when he is elevated to cardinal in February.
The cardinal-designate also said although his name had been circulated as a potential candidate, the announcement that he was chosen along with 18 others by Pope Francis was "unexpected."