Looming threats to the mining prohibition in El Salvador

P. Cabezas

looming threatsIn March 2017, El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban metallic mining. But the huge victory of the antimining movement and the international recognition it has garnered may be overshadowed by a current electoral campaign that threatens to reverse the legislative balance of power in favor of the prohibition in the short term, and the executive government´s  in the mid-term.

At a recent event organized by the National Roundtable Against Mining to commemorate those who lost their lives in Cabañas during the struggle, leaders from communities that were most affected by mining projects said that some political battles are still pending to ensure the long-term sustainability of the mining prohibition. “First we need to ensure that the Attorney General’s office investigate the intellectual authors of the murders of environmental defenders who were assassinated in 2009, second we need to ensure that Minerales Torogoz, and the El Dorado Foundation leave Cabañas, and third we need our government institutions to generate sustainable economic activities in the region so those toxic companies never come back” Said Domingo Miranda, president of the La Maraña Environmental Association.

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Lack of proposals from political candidates on the Environmental Crisis in El Salvador

Mesa communique

PRESS RELEASE: National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining 

For many years El Salvador has faced serious environmental degradation provoked in its majority by industrial processes of big corporations.  In 2018 the panorama would have been even worse, if El Salvador had given into the pretensions of transnational mining companies to exploit gold and silver in the northern part of the country.

Given the environmental conditions that our country is facing and the current electoral scenario not all the political parties have presented a legislative program for the population, despite the fact that the legislative campaign has already began. In fact, politicians have remained silent asking for the citizen's vote while failing to commit to social, economic, public finances, and transparency issues.

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Long-Fought-For Ombudsperson Announced to Investigate International Complaints against Canadian Mining Companies

miningwatch logo

NEWS RELEASE : January 17, 2018

(Ottawa) Today, Canada’s International Trade Minister announced the creation of a Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise to investigate human rights complaints about the overseas operations of Canadian companies and recommend remedy for harm done.

The ombudsperson’s recommendations could include the withdrawal of Canadian government political support (such as Trade Councillor support) and financial support (such as funding or political risk insurance from Export Development Canada), as well as advice to the Government of Canada on policy and legislative changes needed to prevent mining-related harms before they occur. 

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A year with a bitter taste in environmental matters in El Salvador

Alfredo Carias: Vanguardia

In the midst of an important victory in El Salvador, an evaluation of the social and environmental conditions in the country contrasts to the achievements obtained with the prohibition of mining.

According to the Salvadoran authorities, progress has been made in the area of ​​environmental protection, although they acknowledge that there is still a lot to be done, said Ángel Ibarra, Vice Minister of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN).

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National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining demands justice in the case of murdered environmentalists

Marisol Miranda: CoLatino

2Ambientalistas asesinados 1 660x330Although there is a law against mining, fear is always present. “OceanaGold still owns the El Dorado miming project, and they are only waiting for a change of government for it to be installed again", said Domingo Miranda, at the commemoration ceremony of the eighth anniversary of the murder of environmentalists in San Isidro, Cabañas.

Eight years after the murders of Marcelo Rivera, Dora Alicia Sorto (who was eight months pregnant) and Ramiro Rivera, committed between June and December 2009, relatives and members of La Maraña Environmental Association, ADES and the National roundtable against Metallic Mining still demand justice.

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Can Victory Over Irresponsible Mining in Central America Spur a Win in the Philippines?


OceanaGold was stunningly defeated in El Salvador last March. Can it be defeated in the Philippines by 2019?

Can el salvador victoryIn March 2017, the small nation of El Salvador took a huge step towards protecting its environment for present and future generations when its legislature passed a law outlawing all metals mining. It was a momentous vote – a vote heard round the world.

Indeed, that vote ricocheted across the Pacific to the Philippines, which has emerged as one of the hot spots in the global fight of “water protectors” to end destructive industrial mining. In November 2017, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte surprised many by listening to the call of strong peoples’ movements as he declared that a ban on new open pit-mining would remain in place. This, despite a concerted campaign by the country’s mining interests to end that ban.

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