National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic

Information Bulletin 4/2014

  • Five miners die in the Charcas mine in San Luis Potosi, whose owner Germán Larrea failed to establish safety systems
  • Grupo Mexico manipulates or hides the information about this mishap, as it always has
  • The Mining Union demands that the government take drastic measures to punish those responsible for this new that is being mourned by 5 families

Yesterday, Wednesday February 12, 2014, five of our fellow workers were killed at the Charcas mine in San Luis Potosi, when a mine elevator collapsed from a height of 750 meters.

For the workers and the National Union of Mineworkers the blame for this mishap lies with the Grupo Mexico company owned by, Germán Larrea Mota Velasco Feliciano, which has outsourced to a company to provide maintenance services, a fact that under Mexican law does not exempt them but rather makes them responsible for the contractor with respect to occupational health conditions.

The workers who died on Wednesday 12th at 14.00 hours are: Theodule Lopez Rivera, 45 years old; Blas Guzman Gatica, 47; Benito Arriaga Gatica, 56; Juan García Puente, 57; and Isidro Rodriguez Ramirez, 45. All of them were trained for their work as reflected in their age and years of experience. .

The inhumane conditions in the mines that have been concessioned to Grupo Mexico are the cause of this new tragedy that has sent 5 households into mourning, adding to previous accidents in the same Charcas mine where the company continues to cover up its violations of the laws.  In 1978, Section 6 of the National Union of Mineworkers was established, but was stolen from our union by the legal maneuvers of the corrupt government of Vicente Fox and the Grupo Mexico consortium.

This accident shows, once again, the profound reason for the antagonism mixed with fear that Germán Larrea and Grupo Mexico have the National Union of Mineworkers, which opposes the negligence and lack of concern for safety conditions that this company maintains at their workplaces, and therefore does not tolerate the actions of our union to protect the safety and lives of workers.

It is very unfortunate that this tragic mishap occurs 7 days before the eighth anniversary of the Industrial Homicide at Mine No. 8 in Pasta de Conchos, Coahuila, in which 65 miners were killed, of whom 63 are still abandoned in the mine without proper burial, with no punishment for the businessmen and technicians responsible for the tragedy, and without payment of just compensation to the widows and families. 

The National Union of Mineworkers again demands that the federal and state governments criminally prosecute those responsible for this new accident, that is, the directors and shareholders of Industrial Minera Mexico, owned by Grupo Mexico and Germán Larrea Mota Velasco Feliciano, with the full force of the law.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

Washington D.C. Public Affairs and Legislative Issues:
Gary Hubbard at 202-778-4384

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222