Corporate golddiggers against El Salvador

This video is called Death squads in El Salvador.

By Linda Seaborn in Australia:

El Salvador: Mining giant sues entire country

5 February 2010

Pacific Rim are a Canadian multinational firm seeking to exploit the “El Dorado” gold deposits in El Salvador’s rural north.

In a July 22 Dissent Magazine article, Michael Busch said the corporation began operations at the invitation of the neoliberal Arena party government, which issued exploration permits in 2002.

Since 2005, the Cabañas community have organised against Pacific Rim because of the concerns about water and soil pollution from the mining operations.

Busch said: “Miners use cyanide-laced water to extract gold from subterranean rock, which, experts contend, makes its way back to reserves tapped for drinking.”

Community efforts successfully blocked Pacific Rim’s from obtaining mining permits. The government led by Mauricio Funes, who came to power last year, has said it will not allow the mines to proceed.

Pacific Rim has responded by filing a lawsuit with the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against the Salvadoran government.

Busch reported that Pacific Rim allege violations of the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. …

A January 13 statement from the US-based Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador published at said that “in recent months, it has proven especially dangerous to oppose mining in Cabañas, with a steady stream of attacks, death threats and attempted assassinations and kidnappings against community leaders and anti-mining activists”.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel to Cabañas, El Salvador, to meet with some of the bravest and most successful environmental activists in the world. Ordinary villagers in this remote area of the country have joined with religious groups, research centers, and others to take on the powerful international mining companies that are seeking to plunder their country’s gold. So far, the activists have been winning this David-vs.-Goliath fight. Two successive Salvadoran governments have denied permits for gold mining on environmental and human health grounds: here.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International has warned that a British company’s proposed mine would harm indigenous people in eastern India – who already suffer from polluted water and air because of the company’s nearby refinery: here.

World’s top firms cause $2.2tn of environmental damage, report estimates: here.

6 thoughts on “Corporate golddiggers against El Salvador

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