Eco Catholic: Late March saw an amazing week in the Salvadoran struggle against mining. And we owe much of the magic to Gov. Carlos Padilla from the Philippines.
At the urging of Catholic leaders, El Salvador has passed a law banning metal mining nationwide, making the small Central American country the first in the world to outlaw the industry.
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: A government order has stopped a large mining firm from removing nickel ore stockpiles from a village on a small island in the Philippines.
Preview: Honduras' San Martin mine has been closed since 2009. But its impact on local communities, people living in the area say, continues to this day.
The mines no longer operate.
The large trucks that carried heavy equipment no longer rumble down dirt roads fogging the air with dust.
The workers no longer trudge along those same roads inhaling the dust weighted by the humidity of dawn.
Community opposition succeeded in shutting down mines in Nueva Esperanza in northern Honduras and El Tránsito far to the south near the border of Nicaragua. But to many people in these two small towns the closings serve only as a pyrrhic victory.
Preview: A Guatemalan mine is slated to cease operations, renewing issues about the economics, environmental and social costs of its operation.
Sr. Áine O'Connor and her colleagues feel a connection with sisters and others working to help communities affected by companies seeking silver, gold, copper, coal, zinc and other commodities.
Eco Catholic: Berta Caceres, an outspoken environmental activist in Honduras, was murdered in her own home, sparking outrage.
Eco Catholic: Francis described minerals as "a precious gift from God" that are fundamental to many aspects of human life and activity.