URGENT ACTION CALL for El Salvador
San Isidro, is in the region where Pacific Rim Mining explored for gold until 2009 when its exploration permit was suspended by President Funes. Before that time and in 2009, 4 community activists were assassinated because they opposed the operation.
Pacific Rim Mining Corporation based in Vancouver (and Nevada, USA) has been working on its El Dorado Gold property there since 2002. The exploration and exploitation permits were granted by the previous ARENA government without any community consultation. Community activists have resisted this development because extensive drilling has caused water systems to dry up and the proposed use of cyanide in gold refining would further contaminate river systems and ground water. On June 18, 2009 Gustavo Marcelo Rivera, a community leader and anti–mining activist, was disappeared. (photo) Less than two weeks later his corpse was found at the bottom of a 60–foot–well; an autopsy revealed he was strangled to death and tortured. Rivera was the director of the local community centre and founded Amigos of San Isidro, an organization that formed part of the main coalition of groups that opposed the El Dorado. In December 2009 Ramon Rivera & a passenger in his vehicle were killed by gunman. Later that month, Dora Recinos, (photo) was killed while getting water at the river. Pregnant at the time, she was carrying her son, shown on her lap, he was also injured.
Today in 2012 many activists in San Isidro and other communities report severe beatings, threats and harassment. The struggle continues. MUSFRA–32, a local environmental group wants to preserve the community’s water and ecology, protect farmers and residents from water pollution and to present alternatives to employment in mining. The local Rio Tipupa is one of 3% of El Salvador’s rivers that is still clean & uncontaminated. Pacific Rim is suing under CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Agreement) through its USA branch – for $80 million in damages because its exploration permit was suspended. HOWEVER, Canada is now negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with El Salvador & there is great pressure on the President to restore mining rights to Canadian companies.
Also please write to: Also to: The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia–Pacific Gateway. Phone: (613) 995–0183 Fax: (613) 996–9795 E-mail: email@example.com Ask for legislation that will regulate Canadian corporations abroad to act ethically & responsibly. Please forward this call for urgent action to others who would respond as well