In Mining-Affected Communities, Water Is Becoming More Precious Than Gold

By Jen Moore : MiningWatch Canada

Latin America is slowly winning the fight against the corporate assault of transnational Canadian mining companies

El Salvador made history last month when it became the first country to ban metal mining outright.

In what’s become a decade-long annual rite of spring, activists descend on Barrick Gold’s annual general meeting in Toronto April 25 to shine a light on the Canadian mining giant’s litany of abuses abroad. But this year the odds are slowly turning in the fight against the multi-pronged corporate assault of transnational mining companies.

Last month, El Salvador made history, becoming the first country to ban metal mining outright, after a World Bank tribunal rejected last October a US$250 million lawsuit launched against the government by Canadian-Australian miner OceanaGold. The suit, filed in 2009 by OceanaGold predecessor Pacific Rim, based in Vancouver, alleged loss of potential profits after the company failed to meet regulatory requirements to receive a mining permit.

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In El Salvador, a moment more precious than gold

By Andrés McKinley : NCR

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR, There are times in life when things come together, forces galvanize, pieces fall into place and processes take on a magical quality that keeps you wondering when the dream will end. That's what it felt like for those of us in the struggle against metallic mining, when legislators here finally found the political will to block an industry that threatened to rob this country of its future.

https://www.ncronline.org/sites/default/files/styles/article_slideshow/public/stories/images/pdilla_sanchez%20meeting%20resize.jpg?itok=BG4M20lX

It was the most amazing week in the 12-year history of our struggle. And we owe much of the magic to the governor of a province called Nueva Vizcaya in the Philippines, on the other side of the world.

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Historic Wins for Democracy and Rights in El Salvador

Robin Broad and John Cavanagh : Ethics and International Affairs

 

Recently there have been two giant wins for democracy, human rights, and the environment in an unlikely spot: the small, embattled nation of El Salvador.

The most recent win was in March 2017, when the national legislature voted overwhelmingly to make El Salvador the first nation on earth to ban all metals mining, an activity that threatened that nation’s water supply. Who could have imagined an editorial in the New York Times entitled “El Salvador’s Historic Mining Ban” on April 2, 2017?1 The other win occurred six months earlier, in October 2016: After a seven-year battle, a World Bank Group-affiliated arbitration tribunal ruled unanimously against a global mining firm that sued El Salvador for not granting it a mining license.2 Global corporations have been winning most of the lawsuits in these so-called “investor-state” tribunals, but here again El Salvador prevailed.

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El Salvador – When The Seeds Of Resistance Bloom

Thomas Mc Donagh and Aldo Orellana López : The Democracy Center

On 29th March 2017 legislators in El Salvador approved a blanket ban on all metal mining activities in the country – the first country in the world to do so. The historic vote came just six months after a World Bank tribunal ruled in favour of the country’s government in an international investment arbitration case brought by a Canadian mining corporation.

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