• The peaceful resistance   of la Puya in Guatemala  vs. KCA
    The peaceful resistance of la Puya in Guatemala vs. KCA

    International Allies, such as IPS, MiningWatch Canada, CIEL, and Earthworks are collaborating with other international and Guatemalan organizations to support communities peacefully resisting the ‘El Tambor’ gold mining project.  As a result of the successful resistance that led to the suspension of the project, Nevada based KCA has launched a US$300M international arbitration suit against Guatemala under the terms of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). MORE INFO

  •  Supporting the   implementation of the   mining ban in El   Salvador
    Supporting the implementation of the mining ban in El Salvador

    We have continued to support  the activities of member organizations of the National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining, a grassroots coalition that led  a local movement to prohibit mining in March 2017. Since the mining prohibition, local organizations have continued to advocate with government authorities measures to ensure a proper implementation of the prohibition laws. The environmental movement has now formed the National Alliance against the Privatization of Water to fight attempts by the Legislative Assembly to privatice the management and distribution of water resources as the new government of president Nayib Bukele moves the country towards a more bussiness friendly environment.  MORE INFO

  • Following the tracks of   OceanaGold in the   Philippines
    Following the tracks of OceanaGold in the Philippines

    While OceanaGold has left El Salvador, the company still owns projects around the world that are facing community resistance. In nueva Vizcaya, Philippines, communities affected by the Didipio mine have been been resisting since 2007. The company has been linked to human rights violations such as failing to obtain free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) from local indigenous communites, forced demolitions, pollution of rivers, unjust conditions of workers, illegal arrests and defamation against environmental activists and community leaders who oppose the mine. Currently,  IPS and Miningwatch Canada are supporting a coalition of communities, state government institutions and environmental organizations such as Alyansa Tigil Mina and the Kalikasan people´s Network as they fight to prevent OceanaGold from having its permit renewed. MORE INFO

  • Extraction Casino report in Colombia
    Extraction Casino report in Colombia

    In 2016, after massive protests led by the Committee in Defense of the Water and the Santurbán Highland, Colombia's Constitutional Court put the final nail in the coffin to a large gold mining project let by Canadian company Eco Oro. The court decided that no extractive activities could take place in the high-mountain ecosystems known as the ‘páramos’. As a result, Eco Oro Minerals is suing Colombian state for $764 million USD. The Comité and Colombian social organizations are now ready to mount a campaign, with international support, to dennounce the unjust lawsuit.

  • International Allies Against Mining in El SalvadorWe are a group of organisations from Australia Canada, Europe and the U.S. that support the Salvadoran people's demand for sovereignty, the right to water and healthy communities. We coordinate our work with the National Roundtable against Metallic Mining in El Salvador and with communities directly affected by mining projects.  

    Read More
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  • Up Next US Representative Ilham Omar speaks at the Letelier Moffitt Award ceremony
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Law suit against El Salvador one of the longest running cases in the history of ICSID

By:  P. Cabezas

Anti-mining activists in el Salvador and their allies in the US and Australia demanded on April 28th that de International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, ICSID, release immediately a a favorable resolution in the impending case of Pacific Rim Mining vs El Salvador.

13087404 507766629412201 608600027044045582 nA statement delivered simultaneously to offices in San Salvador, Washington and Melbourne asked the World Bank to stop enabling a tribunal utilized by multinational corporations to undermine human rights. “Fifty years of ICSID and billions of dollars in corporate awards is enough. It’s time for the World Bank to evict ICSID and take a stand for environmental, social and economic justice” read the statement.

Pacific Rim launched a lawsuit against the government of El Salvador for $77 million dollars after President Mauricio Funes announced an administrative freeze on mining related proceses in 2009. The company had failed to meet regulatory requirements to obtain a permit for its El Dorado project, yet it utilized little known investor protection provisions within the Central America Free Trade Agreement, and later the Salvadorean investment law, to argue that it was entitled to compensation because the government’s decision not to extend the permit was political. 

A panel of arbitrators agreed, in June 2012, with El Salvador's argument that Pacific Rim had set up a shell company in the United Stated states with the specific pupose of launching a lawsuit and ruled that the company was not entitled to pursue a case under the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The panel, however, ruled that the company could pursue the lawsuit under the now amended Article 15 of the Investment Law of El Salvador which, at the time, allowed any foreign corporations to bypass the local judicial system and utilize the ICSID as a dispute resolution mechanism.          

The company ran into financial troubles in 2013 when it failed to raise further investment to sustain a high profile law suit.  In October 2013 it sold its assets, including the law suit against El Salvador, for only US 10.2 million dollars to Australian/Canadian Company OceanaGold.  OceanaGold continued to bankroll Pacific Rim’s lawsuit against El Salvador without assuming any liabilities; it also raised the stakes by increasing the lawsuit to 315 million US.

Members of the National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining in El Salvador, La Mesa, called this a “shameless act of legalized extortion” carried out by company that has never had any ties to El Salvador and never invested one cent in the country in the first place.  “How is it possible that such a company can make a 10 million dollars investment and immediately demand 315 million dollars from our government?” asked environmental leader   Vidalina Morales.   

The final arguments on the merits stage  of the case were presented in September 2014, but 18 months after the hearing, the tribunal has yet to issue a resolution.  This delay has already made the case of OcenaGold-PacRim vs El Salvador one of the longest running cases in the ICSID,  an article published in the Global Arbitration Review argues that the five longest running cases in the history of ICSID have waited between 6.3 years to 10.5 years. Considering that Pacific Rim submitted its request for arbitration in April, 2009, it safe to say that this case has already taken the number 5 spot on the list, with 7 years in waiting.  Also, the case has already surpassed the average number of days, 472, the panel takes to issue a resolution after the final arguments.  

Not only has the case become one the longest running cases at ICSID, but it has cost the Salvadorean public purse over 12.5 million dollars in legal expenses.

Even if the law suit is declared with no merits and the tribunal rules in favor of El Salvador, we have already incurred a loss says Bernardo Belloso, president of CRIPDES and a member of La Mesa.   For a small country with limited financial resources and critical social and environmental problems, 12.5 million dollars could be better spent towards social programs that could benefit the population.  “12 million dollars, for instance, is the yearly cost of running Ciudad Mujer, an innovative network of government run centers that promote gender equality through reproductive sexual health, holistic approaches to gender violence and economic empowerment opportunities for over 150,000 women who benefit from its programs every year.” He stated.   

From dreams of gold to organic agriculture

* Angélica Cárcamo / Norma Ramírez  - ARPAS

Cabañas 1In 2000, the Pacific Rim mining company intended to employ 450 families in the Department of Cabañas, north of El Salvador. Although the mining project was in its exploration phase, the company closed its facilities in 2017 due to the approval of the Law prohibiting metallic mining. Following the expectations of a local sector to improve the living conditions of the area, local organizations began training processes in organic agriculture. Through these activities, more than 1,000 families have been trained during the last seven years. Currently, 250 families are active in the production of home gardens for family consumption and 25 are able to produce for local sales. For the participants in these initiatives, this type of process has improved family finances as well as diversified their nutritional intake.

Read more ...

ATM Statement on illegal entry of fuel trucks in Nueva Vizcaya



Nov. 26. 2020

Quezon City - Alyansa Tigil Mina strongly condemns the illegal forceful entry today of five fuel trucks by Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) in Brgy.  Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

This is an illegal act by the mining company, as it’s mining contract has expired more than a year ago, and it does not have any permit to operate from the local governments.  

Our alliance also denounce the alleged order of DILG Sec. Ano instructing the PNP to escort the illegal entry of the fuel trucks. About 30 elements of the PNP from Nueva Vizcaya accompanied 50 security guards of the mining company to deliver the fuel.  Local barangay officials and environmental groups from the area tried to prevent the illegal entry, but the police allegedly threatened protestors they will be arrested.

We are deeply frustrated that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of DENR has failed to implement the closure and decommissioning protocols for the Didipio mines, in light of the expiration of OGPI’s Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA).   We hold the DENR and the MGB as accountable for the continued destruction of the forests and livelihoods of affected communities in Nueva Vizcaya, especially in light of the floods and landslides brought by the recent typhoons.

This illegal entry of fuel to the mines add insult to injury, as OGPI prevented the provincial government from opening an alternate road in Kasibu town, after the main road was made impassable, because of the overflow of the mine tailings pond.  

We demand that DILG Sec. Ano immediately revoke any order to the PNP to escort fuel deliveries to the Didipio mines.  The DILG and the PNP should not be used nor be part of this illegal activity of OGPI.

We demand that the DENR immediately disclose the Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Plan (FMRDP) of the Didipio mining project, so the LGUs and affected communities are properly informed about these protocols.

We remind President Duterte that he himself recognized that the deforestation in the mountains of Sierra Madre is the main cause of the devastating floods in Isabela and Cagayan.  Pres. Duterte must instruct the DILG and the DENR to immediately stop the illegal activities in Nueva Vizcaya.  #

Oceanagold violates restraining order from N. Vizcaya government

Aarons Macaraeg | Bulalat

MANILA– Local environmental group Kalikasan- People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE) lambasted on Thursday the illegal shipment of fuel for the continuing operation of Oceanagold mining company.

The fuel tankers were escorted reportedly by about 100 elements of the Kasibu Municipal Police. This was the second time it happened after the violent dispersal of barangay Didipio’s people’s barricade on April 6, 2020.

Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE, said that the mining operation of Oceanagold was reported to have contributed to the massive flooding in Cagayan Valley early this month after the onslaught of #TyphoonUlysses.

The heavy rainfall caused the toxic dam tailings to overflow, submerging the communities downstream.

The Oceanagold’s trespass was a direct violation of the restraining order issued by the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya after its continued operation in July 2019 without permit. The Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of the mining company expired in June 2019.

“We demand for an immediate watershed audit that will investigate and penalize these extractive and destructive projects that worsened the massive floods that came with the series of typhoons leading to ‘Ulysses.’ The government agencies that have played a role in maintaining the business as usual operations of these mines must likewise be probed and held to account,” said Dulce.

A group of scientists from Agham conducted an environmental investigation mission in 2014 in the mining community and found damages to forests, and air and water pollution linked to Oceanagold.

Environmentalists commemorate the 11th anniversary of the murder of Marcelo Rivera

P. Cabezas 


On July 11th, environmental justice activists in El Salvador commemorated the 11th anniversary of the 2009 assassination of Marcelo Rivera, a community cultural activist and water defender from the small town of San Isidro, Cabañas, who died due to his relentless opposition to the El Dorado mining project, owned by Canadian Pacific Rim/Oceana Gold mining company.

The death of Marcelo, whose body was found inside an abandoned water well with signs of torture reminiscing of the brutality of the Salvadorian civil war, sent shock waves through the national and international anti mining movement and a clear message to local water defenders that pro-mining interests were willing to go beyond typical criminalization tactics to have the mining project up and running.  But far from intimidating anti mining activists, Marcelo´s murder galvanized an international movement led by local communities determined to push the company out of Cabañas, have the World Bank rule in favor of El Salvador in a lawsuit brought forwards by Pacific Rim, and have El Salvador set up an example around the work as the first country to completely ban metal mining activities in its territory.      

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Arrests, harassment of environmental defenders amid COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines

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April 17, 2020

We in the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) request your support for recent human rights violations directed at Filipino land and environment defenders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. These violations are characterized as occurring in a time when the capacity of defenders to assert their democratic rights are severely constrained by lockdowns, arbitrary arrests, and other heavy-handed measures supposedly meant for containing the outbreak of the infectious disease.

On March 19, 2020, indigenous people leader Gloria Tomalon was arrested by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on charges of serious illegal detention and kidnapping. These are trumped-up charges meant to silence her activism. Gloria was also labelled as a leader of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of revolutionary group Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Gloria is the chairperson of KATRIBUMMU, a Lumad (indigenous people in Mindanao) organization. She and her organization have been vocal in resisting the attempts of five large-scale mining companies to enter and operate in their ancestral lands and forests in the Andap Valley Complex in Mindanao. The five companies were the Romualdez oligarchy-owned Benguet Corp., Abacus Coal Exploration and Development Corp., Chinese-owned Great Wall Mining and Power Corp., ASK Mining and Exploration Corp., and Coal Black Mining Corp.

Gloria Tomalon’s family has a long tradition of activism and environmental protection. She is the sister of progressive and indigenous legislator Eufemia Cullamat of Bayan Muna (People’s First) Partylist. Tomalon’s brother, Pablito Campos, was also arrested in February 2018 and was branded as a communist rebel. Another brother of her, Dionel Campos, was the chairperson of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alansa sa Sumusunod (Mapasu) and was massacred along with two others by members of the government-affiliated paramilitary group Magahat-Bagani on September 1, 2015.

Aside from Gloria, there are at least 51 political prisoners previously working in environmental defense remaining in prison. This is despite the appeal of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on world governments to free political prisoners and low-level offence inmates to decongest inhumanely overcrowded prison facilities.

Incarcerated defenders like scientist and campaigner Delai Padilla, anti-mining village official Vicente Ollagon, and indigenous Lumad leader Datu Jomorito Goaynon are at great risk of contracting COVID-19 because of the country’s atrocious jail conditions.

In the Philippines, human rights group Karapatan pointed out that jails of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Bureau of Corrections is 450% and 310% congested, respectively. News reports point out that at least 9 inmates and 9 personnel have already been found to be COVID-positive in the BJMP facilities.

On April 6, 2020, the PNP violently dispersed the People’s Barricade of indigenous Ifugao people in Bgy. Didipio Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. The people’s barricade was set up last July 2019 by indigenous people to stop the operation of the Canadian-Australian owned OceanaGold Corporation. The local people’s organizations have also raised concerns over the mine’s longstanding depletion and diversion of the community’s water resources, rendering them vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The PNP escorted the entry of trucks carrying fuels in Bgy. Didipio for the operation of OceanaGold, and used excessive force to push away the human barricade. In the process, Rolando Pulido, chairperson of indigenous organization DESAMA was arrested and slapped with charges of ‘disobeying’ police officers. At least three other indigenous barricaders were injured during the violent dispersal by the PNP. Currently, Pulido is out on bail.

On April 7, 2020, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., issued a public statement red-tagging and harassing environmental and disaster response organizations Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC Phils), Climate Change Network for Community-based Initiatives (CCNCI), Citizens' Disaster Response Center (CDRC), and Philippine Network for Food Security Programs (PNFSP) as alleged fronts of the CPP.

Gen. Parlade accused these organizations of soliciting financial and material support for CPP and their armed revolution in the guise of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. These organizations are known nationwide in their humanitarian work and participation in successful environmental campaigns such as on mining and climate justice.

These repressive acts perpetrated by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and its state security forces are putting in danger the public health of communities by allowing environmentally destructive activities like mining. Suppressing the work of environmental defenders will affect the public’s much-needed access to water and sanitation, food and nutrition, and pollution control.

In these perilous times, we urge all fellow environmental and human rights defenders and our supporters to pressure Filipino public authorities to take action. Let us support our defenders in the Philippines against repression and encourage them to continue their advocacy for the environment and the people.

We invite you to send a letter of concern through mail, email, or fax calling for:

  1. The immediate dismissal of harassment cases against Ms. Tomalon and Mr. Pulido, and the immediate release of Ms. Tomalon and all other political prisoners from jail;
  2. The immediate investigation into the AFP’s continuing red-tagging campaign against environmental defenders and organizations to be conducted by an independent body;
  3. The immediate issuance of cease and desist orders of abovementioned large-scale mining companies, particularly the lack of human rights due diligence over violations linked to their operations;
  4. An end to the Philippine Government’s counter-insurgency program under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) which encourages State security forces to threaten, harass, arbitrarily and illegally arrest defenders tagged as ‘enemies of the State’;

The Philippine Government to adhere and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory.

You may send your communications to:

 H.E. Rodrigo Duterte

Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

  1. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600

Fax:+63(2) 982-5600

Email: info@dnd.gov.ph, webmaster@dnd.gov.ph

Hon. Menardo Guevarra

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721

Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc.214

Fax: (+632) 521-1614

Email: communications@doj.gov.ph

Ret. Gen. Roy Cimatu

Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

DENR Building, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, 1100

Quezon City, Philippines

Tel. No. 926-3011,920-4301

Trunkline No. 929-6626 local 2258

IP Phone Trunkline No. 755-3330

local 1104, 1105

Email: osec@denr.gov.ph

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE)
#26 Matulungin Street, Barangay Central, Diliman, Quezon City
Tel.: 356-2166

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Read more