Published: Wednesday, 22 February 2012 22:31
Environmentalists threatened, murdered in El Salvador
Posted Feb. 2, 2012 / Posted by: Bill Waren
Salvadoran environmentalists are fighting for a ban on destructive mining projects in the face of physical attacks at home, and legal attacks from abroad authorized by a U.S. trade agreement.
Since 2009, community leaders, staff of a local radio station and a priest have been threatened, assaulted, or intimidated for their efforts to protect El Salvador’s water, natural resources and livelihoods from harmful mining projects.
The latest outrage occurred on January 20, 2012. Father Neftalí Ruiz, a leader of the anti-mining movement, allowed into his home three young men who said they were interested in social work. Once inside, the men tied up his hands and feet. They searched his computer and went through his possessions. They stole his laptop, cell phones, and an external hard drive: all presumably containing information related to the anti-mining movement. The men did not ask for money. According to Father Neftalí, they maintained communication with a person who appeared to be directing the search of his home….
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Published: Monday, 20 February 2012 22:56
Salvadorans in Solidarity with Panama
On Friday, February 10th, as the clashes between the government of Panama and indigenous groups facing hydo-electric dams and mining projects on their territory continued, the National Roundtable against Metallic Mining in El Salvador (the Mesa) organized a protest in front of the Panamanian Embassy in San Salvador to express their worry and dismay regarding the situation. In a press statement representatives from the Mesa said “The Salvadorans organized to resist the advance of the extractive industrial model which preys on the environment, raise our voice in solidarity with the Ngäbe Buglé compañeros who are being repressed as well as to say that their struggle is also our struggle.”
At first the Embassy claimed that there was no one in the building that could receive the letter the Mesa intend to present to the Embassy, and security guards turned away a couple of Panamanian citizens who had come for unrelated immigration appointments. After calling in at least 15 police officers, the Embassy finally agreed to send the Charge d’Affiares to the door to receive the statement through a hole the size of a cd case. She told the Mesa that the Ambassador was out of the country on business and said she did not know when he would return.
The connection between the Mesa and El Salvador goes beyond just the struggle to stop mining. They are both facing the same Canadian mining company: Pacific Rim. When the company’s El Salvador project became complicated, Pacific Rim began to invest in a project in Panama, however it is not located in the Ngäbe Buglé territory.
Published: Saturday, 01 January 2011 00:00
The CAC Reports a New Round of Threats
On the heels of the one year anniversary of the murder of Juan Francisco Duran, the Environmental Committee of Cabañas (CAC) reports new threats towards one of their young volunteers.
Below is the CAC statement documenting the most recent incident.
Here is the original in Spanish and here is documentation of the threats made through the Guaco Radio website (in Spanish).