*Karen Rivas: Pax Noticias
“We have presented bill proposals since 2006 focused on the the ban of metal mining,” stated a representative of the Mesa Nacional Frente a la Mineria (National Roundtable Against Mining, La Mesa).
Members of the National Roundtable Against Mining met with the Legislative Assembly to present a letter demanding the return to the study and adoption of the bill that bans metal mining operations in the country.
The organized community groups that work in favor of human, environmental, religious, and youth rights that make up La Mesa were present at the Legislative Assembly.
Reacting to the report by Legislator Guillermo Mata, in which he announced that they (the Environment and Climate Change Commission of the Legislative Assembly) will discuss the subject of mining, members of La Mesa consider themselves an interested party in the subject as they are involved in community organizing and political advocacy to prohibit mining that involves them on the subject.
Members of La Mesa asked the legislative assembly to grant them an audience where they are permitted to exhibit and argue the necessity of the ban on metal mining in El Salvador and, in addition, to request the discussion of the Special Law to Prohibit Metallic Mining that was presented by the Mesa in 2013.
“This debate takes place in the framework of our country having won an international ruling, it opens a new stage for the Executive and Legislative authorities to create the legal regulations that allow the ban of metallic mining,” advocated Luis González from the Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería.
The anti-mining leader warned that, if El Salvador doesn’t ban mining exploitation by means of a law, the industry continues to be a threat to the life and environment of the country. For this, they applaud the decision of the Environment Commission to initiate the discussion and approval of the law, while calling for it to be done in the shortest possible time.
“In the laws that are put forward, we must take into account those that represent the spirit of the community and organisations that fight for the well being of the people,” said Alejandro Labrador, a member of the Mesa.
According to Alejandro Labrador, there are currently 26 possible mining development projects in the country but up until now none of them have been acted on, in addition, he remarked that there are 49 bordering projects that are creating not only a national threat but are also becoming a regional threat.
Community organisations, through the Mesa, have presented technical and scientific information that seeks to promote public consciousness while asking that they [the Assembly] pay attention to the crisis created by water scarcity, climate change, and metal mining.
Translated by: Sebastian Rosemont