• 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.  

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Water Not Gold! Australian mining company threatens water security in El Salvador

Contact: Sean Cleary (Edmund Rice Centre) 0403 434 512, Vladimir Pacheco 0404 053 724

Brisbane, Australia – November 7th, 2013 - The National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining (La Mesa), a grassroots coalition in El Salvador, is up against OceanaGold, an Australian company trying to secure water for the ‘El Dorado’ gold mine in El Salvador.  OceanaGold is suing the Government of El Salvador as it attempts to push ahead with the development of the mine despite widespread community opposition.  

To put international pressure on OceanaGold to withdraw its lawsuit against El Salvador and to build a stronger support base in Australia, a representative from La Mesa will tour Australia in mid-November.

Vidalina Morales, a member of La Mesa, is a small-scale farmer and mother of five children who lives in a community negatively affected by the El Dorado mining project. She is recognised internationally as one of the leading voices of the environmental defence movement in El Salvador.

The “Water Not Gold!” tour will show how grassroots movements can become vital actors in protecting our sovereignty, demanding better corporate accountability and ensuring the future of our water within Australia and beyond.  

The “Water Not Gold!” tour will also highlight how mining can impact on human rights and the environment, and how free trade agreements can be used by corporations to undermine the interests of citizens.    

OceanaGold has a history of human rights violations in the Philippines where it operates the Didipio mine.  La Mesa is deeply concerned that the company will use the same tactics El Salvador.

The El Dorado mine will use significant amounts of water – this is is a gross injustice given that in rural areas of El Salvador few people have access to clean water. The mine will also use large quantities of cyanide which risks contaminating scarce water resources.

The Investor State Dispute Settlement provision of the Central American Free Trade Agreement allowed the previous owner of the El Dorado project (the Canadian miner Pacific Rim) to sue the government of El Salvador for US$315 million over its refusal to approve the development of the mine project.  OceanaGold is pursuing this lawsuit.  

Australia is considering adopting a similar provision as part of the Trans Pacific Partnership. This has serious repercussions for Australian sovereignty.
This tour has the support of Australian Unions, the Institute of Policy Studies, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam Australia, the Edmund Rice Centre, Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network and the Mineral Policy Institute, and many others grouped under the International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador.  

Vidalina is available to meet members of the Australian media during her visit to Sydney (9th-13th),  Melbourne (14th-16th), Perth (17th-19th), Canberra (20th-21st) and Brisbane (21st-23rd). 

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