News

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

Council of Canadians : Rabble

On Friday, dozens of people gathered outside the office of Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, to demonstrate their solidarity with the people of El Salvador who have waited seven years for a World Bank tribunal decision in the controversial case of OceanaGold v. El Salvador. The rally, organized by the Toronto-based Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN), and the Council of Canadians, demonstrated support for El Salvador's sovereignty in deciding to stop issuing mining licenses.  

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International Allies statement on the victory of the people of El Salvador Vs OceanaGold

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To the people of El Salvador,

To the communities of cabañas,

To the organizations of the National Roundtable Against Metal Mining,

The organisations and individuals* who are part of the International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador congratulate you in the unequivocal legal victory that asserts the struggle that for many years you have conducted to defend your water and lands from mining exploitation.

We would like to express our commitment to continue to support this struggle that is a worldwide example against mining exploitation and free trade and investment treaties that trample the rights of peoples.

We will continue to support your demand for a mining law that permanently prohibits metal mining in El Salvador.

At the international level, we will demand that OceanaGold immediately pays out the $8 million dollars that the ICSID tribunal ordered its subsidiary, Pacific Rim Cayman, to pay to the government of El Salvador for legal expenses.

We will continue working with you so that OceanaGold, its El Dorado Foundation and its subsidiary Minerales Torogoz leave the country.  

In the memory of Marcelo Rivera, Dora Alicia Recinos Sorto, Ramiro Rivera and Juan Francisco Duran Ayala

*Individuals include Robin Broad, Stuart Kirsch and Wilson Muñoz

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El Salvador Lessons for the TPP Fight

Robin Broad & John Cavanagh : inequality.org

In a tale of people power over corporate power, a tribunal has ruled against a global company in a case over mining rights. Now we need to block trade deals that allow these “investor-state” lawsuits.

The executives of a global mining corporation assumed it would be easy to get their way in Cabañas, a rural region of northern El Salvador. They were wrong.

What they wanted was to extract the rich veins of gold buried near the Lempa River, the water source for more than half of El Salvador’s 6.2 million people. Instead, local farmers and others came together to fight the project over concerns that the toxic chemicals used in gold mining would poison their water. In time, they won over a strong majority of the public and rallied the Catholic Church, small businesses, and labor and environmental groups to successfully pressure the national government to oppose mining.

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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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