The negative legacy of mining in El Salvador continues after 100 years

P. Cabezas 

san sebastianThe Ministries of Economy, Environment, FIAES and the Maquilishuat foundation recently released a report on the environmental legacy and damages to health caused by mining operations abandoned 100 years ago in the eastern part of the country.

The report found nine negative environmental impacts generally present in the 15 mines studied. Impacts were defined as “events that have already occurred, observed and documented to have adverse effects on natural and social environment directly or indirectly related to mining”:

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Municipality of Arcatao calls for a referendum on mining

By Marvin Diaz: Gato Encerrado - Translation: P. Cabezas

Various social organizations in collaboration with the Municipality of Arcatao, Chalatenango, unveiled a plan for the fourth referendum on metal mining to be held on November 8 this year. The consultation aims to get public support to adopt an environmental ordinance that prohibits mining in the municipality.

Jose Avelar, Mayor of Arcatao, spoke about the problems and the deterioration of the environment diverse communities in El Salvador are living due to past mining practices. "We are convinced that San Salvador consumes water from the hills of Chalatenango and if mining becomes a reality in our municipalities, the first affected will surely be the people of San Salvador and our communities," said the mayor.

The official lamented the poor decisions of previous governments that extended permits to Canadian mining companies to exploit these resources. "We are paying for bad decision made by previous governments. If governments had consulted the public before making a decision to authorize exploration permits in the country, we would not have the mining problem, "said Avelar.

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Christian Romero Initiative and Stop Mad Mining invite Bernardo Belloso from CRIPDES to Europe

Von Svenja Riebow: Amerika21  - Translation: Marina Bonetti

bernieFrom September 30th to October 15th, Bernardo Belloso, president of the Association for Development travelled on a speaking tour through Germany, Slovakia and Romania to report on the social resistance against gold mining in El Salvador, to participate in public events, lobby meetings with elected politicians, civil society organizations and press conferences.  Mr. Belloso also travelled to Bratislava (Slovakia), for a speaking engagement at the International Conference on Responsible Mining (October 6th-7th) where he spoke about the experiences of CRIPDES, along with civil society organizations in El Salvador,  have waged against mining companies. Finally Mr. Belloso travelled to Romania to meet with representatives of the resistance against gold mining in Rosia Montana. As El Salvador, Romania has been sued by a Canadian mining corporation because it was refused a mining licence.

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Arcatao Community Consultation

Consultations, or municipal referendums in which the voting population asserts their preference on the issue. The first three Consultations took place in 2014 in San Jose Las Flores, San Isidro Labrador, and Nueva Trinidad in the northern department of Chalatenango, and now the fourth Consultation will take place in the municipality of Arcatao on November 8th.

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