Territories Free of Mining

Nueva Trinidad: 3rd Municipality in El Salvador to Declare Itself a “Mining Free Territory”

Juan Carlos Jimenez - Upside Down World

Nueva Trinidad, an agricultural town in the department of Chalatenango in El Salvador, became the third municipality in the country to declare itself a “Territory Free of Mining” after having a historic popular community consultation on March 29.

In a process of grassroots democracy and popular community engagement, Nueva Trinidad joined its neighboring towns of San Jose Las Flores and San Isidro Labrador in rejecting the presence of mining exploration and exploitation in their territories. The former guerrilla stronghold in North Chalatenango has fought to prevent mining projects in their territories for over a decade, often resorting to road blocks, marches, and political graffiti to declare its opposition to mining.

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P. Cabezas

Territorial organization to strengthen local democracy a key strategy for anti-mining activists in the country's unpredictable political environment.

san isidro1The municipality of San Isidro Labrador was declared free of mining after 98.74% of the registered voters who cast a ballot in a referendum held on Sunday November 23 said no mining.

This is the second municipality to hold a local mining consultation in the region that has since 2004 been impacted by four known mining exploration concessions covering an area close to 200 square Kilometres.   

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Municipality of San Jose Las Flores declared the first territory free of mining in El Salvador

P. Cabezas

Anti mining activists poised to organize at least ten more consultations in the Chalatenango region by the end of 2015.  

bannerSeptember 21st, marked another historic day for San Jose Las Flores, a sleepy town nestled among the hills of the department of Chalatenango, as it voted to protect its natural resources against the effects of the metal mining industry and to become the first territory free of mining of El Salvador.  

On September 22nd, a delegation led by Mayor José Felipe Tobar announced at a press conference in San Salvador that 67% of those community members listed in the official National Electoral Registry cast their vote; of those, 99 percent voted to ban mining in their territory.

The municipality followed little known, and never tested, provisions under articles 115, 116 and 117 of the Municipal Code of El Salvador which outline the process for community consultations to be legally binding.      

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Communities in rural El Salvador request a referendum to keep mining projects out of their territories.

By Alfredo Carias, National Roundtable Against Mining in El Salvador

translated from: http://tinyurl.com/mpx7p4n

It was 2 pm in the afternoon as we heard a woman's voice, through a loud speaker located in the park of San Jose Las Flores, inviting people living in the urban core to attend a public event against mining.

The event was promoted by leaders from the communities of El Portillo, El Tamarindo, Las Limas, Llano Verde, Hacienda Vieja and the village, all part of the municipality of San José Las Flores in Chalatenango, who had organized a petition with the signatures of over 500 registered voters to be delivered to the municipal City Council.  The petition requested the council of San Jose Las Flores to conduct of a local referendum to declare the municipality a “Territory free of Mining."

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