Risky mining in the northeastern Moroccan city of Jerada killed another informal miner, 54, on Sunday when a mine collapsed.
Rabat – The 54-year old miner died only four days after a young miner died in Hassi Belal, near Jerada on Wednesday.
Videos of Moroccans condemning the young man’s death went viral last week.
The 54-year-old who died Sunday was a former employee and miner at Moroccan Coal Mining (CDM).
According to Moroccan television channel 2M, the miner died while he was attempting to extract coal waste in Hassi Belal.
Home to protests in 2017 and 2018, Jerada has witnessed the death of several miners. On December 23, 2017, two informal miners were crushed while mining underground at an abandoned coal mine in Jerada.
Another informal miner died while extracting coal from an illegal mine near Jerada when the walls of the mine collapsed and killed him on February 1, 2018.
The death of miners caused a wave of protests as relatives, friends, and sympathizers took to Jerada’s streets to protest social disparities, lack of infrastructure, and unemployment.
The protests resulted in a tension between protesters and law enforcement. The police arrested many throughout the days of the protest. On November 8, a Moroccan court sentenced nine people with three-five years for their involvement in the unauthorized protests.
The court charged the nine with “destruction of public property, incitement to commit crimes and offenses or participation in a non-violent demonstration,” their lawyer said in a statement to AFP.
Five of the protesters received five-year sentences, and four received three-year sentences.
Last year, the Moroccan government pledged new economic opportunities for the region including the opening of new mines and a pledge to turn the region into an industrial zone, “which will provide young entrepreneurs in several business sectors with the opportunity to carry out their projects.”
The government closed Jerada’s coal mines in 1998. Due to a lack of economic opportunity, many workers in the town take risks to continue extracting resources from the mines. In two separate mine accidents, four informal miners died in December 2017 alone.