- Published on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 19:22
Due the risk of contaminating key bodies of water shared by the three countries
Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren was emphatic in his statement that he will advocate for the suspension of all mining activity in the Trifinio Reserve area, alluding to the Cerro Blanco mining project located in Asuncion Mita, Guatemala , 18 kilometers away from Metapan.
A technical report carried out by Salvadoran authorities, after a visit to the mine, stated that the project has many shortcomings that could cause negative impacts on nearby bodies of water where toxic discharge will occur, contamination of the Ostúa river, could travel to the Güija lake and then to the Lempa river.
It has been recognized that even the exploration process has already generated risks to surface and groundwater resources, public health and the productive development of communities in Guatemala and El Salvador due to toxic elements contained in underground thermal waters found in the site of the proposed mine, the report said.
Given the interest of the Government of Guatemala to see the project through, on the grounds that the Trifinio treaty does not ban mining in the area, Sanchez Ceren, the FMLNs presidential candidate, said that "the treaty establishes that any decision -that will affect the reserve- has to be agreed upon by the three sovereign countries."
"We know that mining affects our water, that is why we will continue to defend the position that mining activities in this region must be suspended, because even the best technology allows pollution to occur," said the Vice President, who is one of the largest promoters of development in the area, that in June 29, 2011 was declared as the "Biosphere Reserve Trifinio Fraternity" by UNESCO.
"The position of my government is the same that we took at binational meetings," he reiterated, after explaining that this position has gained international support and that "very soon we will hear the voice of the international community, asking to protect the region threatened by mining."
Sanchez Ceren attended the meeting of the advisory committee of the National Commission Trifinio Plan yesterday, where he received formal recognition for his contribution to the development of the area through the promotion of sustainable and participatory management and community participation processes.
- Published on Monday, 24 February 2014 15:37
Environmental movement presented a set of proposals to the FMLN candidate asking for greater commitment on the issues.
Cristian Melendez, LA PRENSA GRAFICA
The Movement of Victims Affected Climate Change and Corporations (MOVIAC) delivered a proposal to the presidential candidate of the FMLN, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, yesterday in San Isidro, Cabañas. The proposal asks the government to acquire a greater commitment not to allow the exploitation of metal mining in the country, particularly in the department of Cabañas.
The proposal, which was submitted by the MOVIAC, is supported by 10 NGOs. According to Ricardo Navarro, director of the Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology(CESTA) and one of the promoters of the proposal, was presented only to the FMLN slate because, "you are within two weeks of being elected and officially proclaimed President and Vice President”.
"The first thing we want to express to you is a reflection of global character. The way our society uses extracted resources, the nature, levels and types of consumption and the non-existent waste disposal practices are not sustainable," Navarro said.
In that sense, Sanchez Ceren pledged not to allow metal mining in the country. According to the candidate, the exploitation of metal mining is an attack on the population.
According to the candidate, the practice is a threat to the country and therefore reiterated its commitment not to grant exploitation licenses.
"The threat of the metal extraction is a threat to life. Everyone says that El Salvador has a wealth underground, having golden valleys and basins of silver, but what does it mean if we allow it to be removed. It will destroy our lives," said Ceren.
- Published on Thursday, 13 February 2014 19:29
Activists are challenging rules that grant corporations the right to sue governments.
By Robin Broad and John Cavanah
Over the past several decades, multinational corporate Goliaths have helped to write and rewrite hundreds of rules skewing tax, trade, investment and other policies in their favor. The extraordinary damage these policies have caused has become increasingly apparent to the communities and governments most directly affected by them. This, in turn, has strengthened the potential of a movement that’s emerging to try to reverse the momentum. But just like David with his slingshot, the local, environmental and government leaders seeking to revise rules to favor communities and the planet must pick their battles carefully.
One of the most promising of these battles takes aim at an egregious set of agreements that allow corporations to sue national governments. Until three decades ago, governments could pass laws to protect consumers, workers, health, the environment and domestic firms with little threat of outside legal challenge from corporations. All that changed when corporations started acquiring the “right” to sue governments over actions—including public interest regulations—that reduce the value of their investments. These rights first appeared in little-known bilateral investment treaties. Twenty years ago, corporate lawyers embedded them in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Today, more than 3,000 trade and investment agreements and even some national investment laws grant foreign investors these powers.