In Latin America, eco-spirituality drives a Christian fight against mining interests

By Barbara Fraser
America: The Jesuit Review
May 25, 2023

In mid-April, dead fish and mud washed down the river that flows past Coata, the community where Félix Suasaca lives on the shore of Lake Titicaca, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Mr. Suasaca and other community leaders say acid runoff from a mine upstream fouled the wetlands where their cattle and sheep graze and flowed into the lake, which is also contaminated by mercury and other metals draining from other poorly regulated mines in the watershed.

We’re drinking water that is contaminated by heavy metals,” Mr. Suasaca said, adding that tests have found high levels of arsenic in the bodies of residents of Coata and surrounding communities. Community leaders would like to analyze the water for other metals but lack the funds for a study, he added.

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