El Pais/EFE

San Salvador, Feb 28 (EFE) .- El Salvador's Human Rights Ombudswoman, Raquel Caballero, congratulated today the residents of the town of Cinquera (northwest Cabañas), who last sunday rejected the implementation of mining projects through a popular consultation.

"The prosecutor congratulates the people of the municipality of Cinquera for their active participation" in the popular consultation and "especially for deciding and promoting the defense of life and the environment," said a statement by the Office of the Attorney General for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH).


The referendum was observed by the PDDH and representatives of Canada, Spain, the United States, Salvadoran members of the Legislative Assembly and Environment officials.

According to the environmental organizations that promoted the consultation, "98.10% of participants voted against mining exploration and exploitation in the municipality," so that municipal authorities must issue an ordinance that prohibits any type of exploitation of metals.

Cinquera is the fifth Salvadoran municipality that rejects metal mining; San Jose Las Flores, San Isidro Labrador, New Trinidad and Arcatao of the northern department of Chalatenango have had consultas.

The social organizations say that "this result is a clear recommendation" so that the members of the Congressional Commission on Environment and Climate Change give the green light to the vote on a law prohibiting mining.

One of the last legal initiatives against mining was presented last February 7 by officials of the Salvadoran Catholic Church.

A World Bank (WB) arbitration body ruled in October 2016 in favor of El Salvador and against the Canadian miner Pacific Rim, now owned by the Australian Oceana Gold, which claimed compensation from the Salvadoran government for 250 million dollars.

The case dates back to 2009 when Canadian miner Pacific Rim filed a lawsuit against El Salvador after the Central American country denied permission to mine the El Dorado gold mine in the northern part of the country. EFE