El Salvador Votes for Water over Gold

By P. Cabezas & Sebastian Rosemont

In response to enormous public pressure, lawmakers have rejected appeals by global corporations and voted to protect the country’s people and water supply by banning metallic mining.  

The people of El Salvador and their international allies against irresponsible mining are celebrating a historic victory. After a long battle against global mining companies that were determined to plunder the country’s natural resources for short-term profits, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly has voted to ban all metal mining projects.

The new law is aimed at protecting the Central American nation’s environment and natural resources. Approved on March 29 with the support of 69 lawmakers from multiple parties (out of a total of 84), the law blocks all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals, whether in open pits or underground. It also prohibits the use of toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury.

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Political parties give assurances that they will support the prohibition of Metal Mining

Beatriz Calderón / ACAN-EFE

A march led by archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas arrived at the Legislature demand the prohibition of metal mining.  

A group of Salvadorans marched today to demand that the Legislature approve a law prohibiting metal mining in El Salvador at a demonstration convened by the Archbishop´s Office and headed by Archbishop of San Salvador Jose Luis Escobar Alas himself.

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Salvadorean Human Rights Attorney Congratulates Municipality that Rejected Mining Through Referendum

El Pais/EFE

San Salvador, Feb 28 (EFE) .- El Salvador's Human Rights Ombudswoman, Raquel Caballero, congratulated today the residents of the town of Cinquera (northwest Cabañas), who last sunday rejected the implementation of mining projects through a popular consultation.

"The prosecutor congratulates the people of the municipality of Cinquera for their active participation" in the popular consultation and "especially for deciding and promoting the defense of life and the environment," said a statement by the Office of the Attorney General for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH).

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The Catholic Church calls for participation in a March Against Metal Mining

By Armando Jacinto : TVES

On February 6th, the Catholic Church presented the Legislative Assembly a legislative proposal to prohibit metal mining in El Salvador.

Next Thursday, March 9th, the Catholic Church will carry out a march to demand that the representatives of the Legislative Assembly approve the Law to Ban Metal Mining in El Salvador. 

The march will leave at 9:00AM from Bolivar Park and will lead to the Legislative Assembly, when they will also hand to the representatives the signatures that have been collected to prohibit any type of metal mining operation in Salvadoran territory. 

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Western University Professor Brings El Salvador Anti-Mining Struggle to Canadian Audience

By Tanya Sahni & Erica Wallis

On February 28th, Amanda Grzyb,  associate professor of Information and Media Studies at Canada’s Western University gave a talk as part of an ongoing public interest lecture series, bringing the anti-mining struggle of El Salvador to the Canadian north with an informative presentation.

amandaIn a local library, a crowd gathered to learn about the environmental crisis in El Salvador and Salvadoran efforts to protect precious water resources from transnational mining companies. Having just returned from overseeing an international delegation in El Salvador herself, Grzyb was able to show her audience video footage of Salvadoran community leaders speaking about their ongoing struggles. Bringing the words of community leaders directly to a Canadian audience proved a powerful experience for those watching, and a passionate discussion followed the presentation. The audience was composed of a diverse group of students, professors, and many members of the local community. Also present at the talk were several members of the international delegation that had observed a referendum on mining in the community of Cinquera the previous week, as well as the Director of SalvAide, Alfredo Marroquin.

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Another Town in El Salvador Votes No to Mining

By Aruna Dutt : IPS News

Cabañas, El Salvador, Mar 1 2017 (IPS) - The citizens of Cinquera municipality in Cabañas delivered a resounding vote against mining, on Sunday February 26th, when 98 percent of residents voted in favour of becoming El Salvador’s fifth “territory free of mining.”

“Mining companies have a wide field with major extension in other countries, and often they need to use the comparative law of other countries to be able to apply their practices here in El Salvador. But the truth is that El Salvador is a country so small that industrial mining is not viable,”Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights, William Iraheta told IPS.

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, but also has the highest population density, with 300 people per square kilometer. It is also he fourth most vulnerable country to climate change according to GermanWatch, with 95% of the population living in a high-risk zone. READ MORE 

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