Through the good fortune of meeting TV producer Luis Moray in Lima, I was able to spend the last morning of my reporting during my first of two trips to Peru last summer interviewing one of the country’s most influential businessmen — Roque Benavides, CEO of BueanaVentura Mining. He read the encyclical before our interview so he would be prepared. Mongabay.com, with expert editing by Glenn Scherer, published a series of three of my Q&A stories during the week of Pope Francis’ history visit to the United States in late September 2015. My first Q&A is here.
Glenn Scherer wrote as an intro to my interview:
- Roque Benavides makes no apologies for Peru’s extraction industry, noting that it employs tens of thousands, and gives much back to the communities in which it works.
- The CEO fears that the Pope’s encyclical is overly simplistic, putting too much of the blame for the environmental crisis on industry and business.
- He argues forcefully that government has failed in its role as environmental protector, and that the poor are more destructive to the environment than industry.
Emilia Catanoso took a series of amazing photographs. Her best of the entire two-week experience.