- Published on Friday, 14 October 2016 22:46
After Seven Years and Millions of Dollars, Decision Announced in Pac Rim Mining Company vs. El Salvador: Coalition of Groups States “There are No Winners”
Investor-State Arbitration Subverts Democracy
Cabañas, El Salvador / Washington DC / Ottawa / Melbourne – Civil society groups worldwide that have allied with Salvadoran communities and organizations working on mining and environmental issues reacted to today’s decision by the controversial International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on the seven-year old case of Pac Rim Cayman vs. El Salvador, stating that “there are no winners” in this case. On Friday, October 14, the tribunal announced their decision that Pac Rim’s lawsuit was without merit and hence that El Salvador will not have to pay the company the $250 million that it sought.
In 2009, Pac Rim Cayman LLC brought an “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) case against El Salvador at the World Bank Group’s arbitration venue, ICSID. The company, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Canadian-Australian company OceanaGold, sued El Salvador for alleged losses of potential profits as a result of not being granted a mining concession for a gold project. The government of El Salvador did not issue the concession because the company failed to meet key regulatory requirements.
- Published on Thursday, 06 October 2016 21:22
RELEASE THE VERDICT NOW!
On Friday October 7th, on the eve of the World Bank’s fall meeting, people around the world will demand that a tribunal of the World Bank Group’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to release a favorable decision for El Salvador on the Pac Rim Cayman LLC vs El Salvador case.
Solidarity actions with the National Roundtable Against Mining in El Salvador will be held in El Salvador, Washington, Toronto, Melbourne and the Philippines to demand that:
1. The World Bank Group’s ICSID immediately release a favorable decision that will finally vindicate the people of El Salvador and will allow their government to recover all legal expenses.
2. OceanaGold immediately discontinue all of its operations in El Salvador, including its Salvadoran subsidiaries Minerales Torogoz and El Dorado Exploraciones, along with the bogus El Dorado Foundation, which demonstrates utter disrespect for the broad opposition to mining in the communities, and could escalate the potential for conflict and further violence levels already been seen when Pacific Rim operated there.
We support the President of El Salvador, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, who has stated that he remains firm in his commitment not to grant mining concessions.
- Published on Wednesday, 28 September 2016 16:04
Since OceanaGold acquired Pacific Rim in 2013, members of the the Maritime Union of Australia, along Salvadorean and Filipino residents in Melbourne, have held monthly solidarity actions to demand that the company withdraws from El Salvador and the Philippines.
A rally in support of the people of El Salvador will take place outside the offices of OceanGold on Friday Septemebr 30, at 357 Collins Street, Melbourne.
These actions are against the Australian mining company OceanaGold, which is suing El Salvador for over $300 million because it will not issue a mining permit.
The company is able to sue El Salvador because a previous government in that country agreed to Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) legislation. “The legal framework that has been created favours investors and violates the human rights of peoples” explained Bernardo Belloso, President of the Association for the Development of El Salvador.
El Salvador is one of the poorest countries, with average per capital income of $3,800 US per year. It is also one of the most densely populated countries with approximately 360 persons per square Km. It is also one of the most water starved with only about 2% of its surface water drinkable.
- Published on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 22:10
By P. Cabezas
As the morning sun rises on the town of San Jose las Flores, members of the community prepare for the annual pilgrimage to the Urbina Hills, the site that once was the main exploration point for a gold mining project. Even though mining activity has been idle in over a decade, residents of Las Flores and surrounding communities make a religious journey through the mountains every September 14th, the eve of Independence Day in El Salvador, to commemorate the day the company was expelled.
- Published on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 00:01
On September 15, 2016 an ICSID Tribunal closed the arbitration proceedings in the case that Pacific Rim/OceanaGold began on June 15, 2009 (over 7 years ago) against the government of El Salvador. During this time the government has spent more than US$13 million in legal costs in a suit where the company attempts to obtain more than US$300 million in compensation for not been allowed to harm the environment and the health of the inhabitants of El Salvador.
The next step in the proceedings is for the tribunal to issue an award, which may be released in the short term, may also be known within 6 months, and chances are that it may take an indefinite amount of time.
- Published on Monday, 26 September 2016 23:37
The Water Forum denounces secret negotiation of the General Water Law between the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Economy and ANEP
In 2006 the Water Forum delivered the first proposal for a "General Water Law" to the Legislative Assembly, yet our country still does not have a regulatory framework governing the different uses of water.
In October 2015, the Water Forum met with the President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and part of his Cabinet, to obtain the position of the Executive government regarding the General Water Law. At that meeting, it was stated that there was no negotiation with the private sector and it was denied that a new water bill was being planned.