News

Bishop Rauda: Mining is not a question of right or left, it is a question of life or death!

Gloria Orellana : CoLatino

We thank the grace of God for having won at the ICSID where El Salvador was being sued by OceanaGold/Pacific Rim company. "An applause for the people" said in emotional words Monsignor José Elías Rauda, Bishop of the Diocese Of San Vicente, at a mass officiated in the church Santa Barbara, in Sensuntepeque, Cabañas.

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For grassroots organizations, the fight to protect water and local communities continues, now on a larger scale

TELESUR

For grassroots organizations, the fight to protect water and local communities continues, now on a larger scale.

After El Salvador won a decade-long legal battle against mining company OceanaGold on Friday, social organizations and communities pledged to continue fighting to protect the nation’s natural resources.

Friday's success story involved a US$301 million lawsuit and a court battle that first began in 2007, when El Salvador sought to defend its sovereignty by denying OceanaGold, then Pacific Rim, a new permit to extract the nation's gold reserves.

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ICSID decision buoys El Salvador in mining dispute

Elizabeth Malkin : EcoAmericas

The government of El Salvador and mining opponents won an important victory this month when an arbitration panel threw out an Australian-Canadian mining company’s demand that it be granted US$314 million in compensation after being denied a permit to drill for gold. But anti-mining activists, arguing that the Oct. 14 decision offers only a temporary reprieve, plan to use the attention created by the ruling to press for a permanent ban on metal mining in El Salvador.

ades1An administrative moratorium on mine permits has been in place since 2008; unless the country’s unicameral Legislative Assembly approves it as law, however, a new president could break with predecessors merely by ordering officials to start reviewing applications.

“Conditions could change at any moment, so we can’t stand by with our arms crossed,” says Pedro Cabezas, coordinator of the mining and human rights program at the Association for the Development of El Salvador (Cripdes), a rural development organization that is part of an alliance called the National Roundtable Against Metal Mining. Adds Cabezas: “This is a long fight that will go on for many years.”

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Media Coverage: Victory of El Salvador Vs Pacific Rim

Thanks to the organised opposition to mining in El Salvador at both the national and international level, the resounding legal victory of the Government of El Salvador over OceanaGold(Pacific Rim) generated an incredible amount of media coverage. 

Below you will find find a compilation of some of the many stories that were published.      

IN ENGLISH

Associated Press:El Salvador celebrates win against mining company, Also in  CNBC (Canada), Daily Mail (UK), Fox Business (USA), The Street (USA), Yahoo Finance (USA)

Associated Press (US): El Salvador se adjudica victoria legal sobre minera, also in El Nuevo Herald (USA), Hoy Los Angeles (USA)                             

Rabble Canada: Solidarity rally in Toronto as decision released in OceanaGold v. El Salvador case

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El Salvador wins arbitration against Oceana Gold/Pacific Rim mining company

Press Release:

Today, the General Attorney of the Republic of El Salvador offered a press conference in Washington D.C. to share the results of the arbitration, about which he had been notified by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID/ CIADI), with respect to the case that the Pacific Rim-Oceana Gold mining company had initiated in June 2009 against El Salvador.

This litigation went on for seven years. During this time, El Salvador had to spend over 13 million dollars in its defense. The mining company had initiated the process demanding 70 million dollars; over the time, the amount rose to over 300 million and, after a new calculation that it was obliged to accept, due to the fact that it had been proved that the numbers were deliberately inflated, the demand was set in 250 million dollars.

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PRESS RELEASE: Coalition of Groups States “There are No Winners”

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After Seven Years and Millions of Dollars, Decision Announced in Pac Rim Mining Company vs. El Salvador: Coalition of Groups States “There are No Winners”

Investor-State Arbitration Subverts Democracy

 Cabañas, El Salvador / Washington DC / Ottawa / Melbourne – Civil society groups worldwide that have allied with Salvadoran communities and organizations working on mining and environmental issues reacted to today’s decision by the controversial International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on the seven-year old case of Pac Rim Cayman vs. El Salvador, stating that “there are no winners” in this case.  On Friday, October 14, the tribunal announced their decision that Pac Rim’s lawsuit was without merit and hence that El Salvador will not have to pay the company the $250 million that it sought.

In 2009, Pac Rim Cayman LLC brought an “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) case against El Salvador at the World Bank Group’s arbitration venue, ICSID.  The company, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Canadian-Australian company OceanaGold, sued El Salvador for alleged losses of potential profits as a result of not being granted a mining concession for a gold project. The government of El Salvador did not issue the concession because the company failed to meet key regulatory requirements.

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