Due the risk of contaminating key bodies of water shared by the three countries
Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren was emphatic in his statement that he will advocate for the suspension of all mining activity in the Trifinio Reserve area, alluding to the Cerro Blanco mining project located in Asuncion Mita, Guatemala , 18 kilometers away from Metapan.
A technical report carried out by Salvadoran authorities, after a visit to the mine, stated that the project has many shortcomings that could cause negative impacts on nearby bodies of water where toxic discharge will occur, contamination of the Ostúa river, could travel to the Güija lake and then to the Lempa river.
It has been recognized that even the exploration process has already generated risks to surface and groundwater resources, public health and the productive development of communities in Guatemala and El Salvador due to toxic elements contained in underground thermal waters found in the site of the proposed mine, the report said.
Given the interest of the Government of Guatemala to see the project through, on the grounds that the Trifinio treaty does not ban mining in the area, Sanchez Ceren, the FMLNs presidential candidate, said that "the treaty establishes that any decision -that will affect the reserve- has to be agreed upon by the three sovereign countries."
"We know that mining affects our water, that is why we will continue to defend the position that mining activities in this region must be suspended, because even the best technology allows pollution to occur," said the Vice President, who is one of the largest promoters of development in the area, that in June 29, 2011 was declared as the "Biosphere Reserve Trifinio Fraternity" by UNESCO.
"The position of my government is the same that we took at binational meetings," he reiterated, after explaining that this position has gained international support and that "very soon we will hear the voice of the international community, asking to protect the region threatened by mining."
Sanchez Ceren attended the meeting of the advisory committee of the National Commission Trifinio Plan yesterday, where he received formal recognition for his contribution to the development of the area through the promotion of sustainable and participatory management and community participation processes.