President Santos calls for a broad restructuring of the mining sector following the deaths of 26 miners in two separate accidents less than a week apart.
Twenty-one miners were killed and several wounded in an explosion at a coalmine in the Norte de Santander department on January 26, while five miners were killed and one wounded in a mine explosion in the central department of Cundinamarca on February 1.
The president mourned the deaths and demanded that the sector be restructured so as to prevent any such tragedy occurring again, RCN Radio reported Wednesday.
Juan Manuel Santos called on Congress to quickly approve the special powers that would allow the government to overhaul the mining sector.
“I have given instructions to the minister of mines [Carlos Rodado Noriega] to accelerate the process of institutional transformation regarding the monitoring and managing of the entire Colombian mining sector,” said the head of state.
He added, “we have said since the [presidential] campaign that the mining sector is lagging behind.”