Thousands of miners held a one-day strike Monday, marking the anniversary of an underground blast that killed 65 people and raised troubling questions about mining safety in Mexico.
Relatives of the victims celebrated a Mass and rallied outside the Pasta de Conchos coal mine's gates to renew their demands for better working conditions and for the recovery of the victims' remains a year after the Feb. 19, 2006, explosion. So far, only two bodies have been found.
"We're asking for more resources from mining companies and the federal government because safety conditions at the mines have not improved," said Bishop Alonso Garza, of the city of Piedras Negras, across the US border from Eagle Pass, Texas.
Earlier, about 100 relatives and friends of victims staged an all-night vigil, lighting candles and releasing 65 white balloons at 2:15 a.m. - the time of the explosion - as crews continued working around the clock to recover the remains of the 63 who are still trapped.