WB Allies logo2

OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD BANK IN DEFENSE OF EL SALVADOR

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President
World Bank Group
1818, H Street NW
Washington, DC, 20433, USA

The signers of this petition are 303 international and national civil society organizations. We are writing out of solidarity with the communities of El Salvador that have been working through the democratic process to prevent a proposed cyanide-leach gold mining project, over well- founded risks that it will poison the local communities’ environment as well as the country’s most important river and source of water.

Rather than complying with the environmental permitting process of El Salvador, the Canadian company Pacific Rim launched an attack under the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). While that approach was rejected for lack of jurisdiction, Pacific Rim was still allowed to continue the arbitration based on an outdated investment law that has since been amended by the Salvadoran General Assembly. On that basis, the case remains before the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Pacific Rim is demanding $301 million US dollars in compensation from the government of El Salvador or to provide it with an operating permit in spite of the huge risks to the country’s water supply.

Pacific Rim is using ICSID to subvert a democratic nationwide debate over mining and environmental health in El Salvador. When it comes to such issues, local democratic institutions should prevail, not foreign corporations seeking to exploit natural resources.

These matters should not be decided by the World Banks’ investor state arbitration tribunal or any other foreign tribunal. To make things worse, in the course of Pacific Rim’s intervention in the political affairs of El Salvador, four anti-mining activists have been murdered in the project area.

We urge you to review the role of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and to determine if it supports the Bank’s mission of ending poverty and promoting responsible and sustainable economic development.

We urge you to undertake this review through an open process with public hearings and the ability for mining affected communities and their allies to present evidence of the harm done by corporations using the investor - state arbitration process to undermine the public interest laws and regulatory structures in countries of the Global South.

We stand with the people of El Salvador in their demand that their domestic governance processes and national sovereignty be respected. The Pacific Rim ICSID arbitration is a direct assault against democratic governance.  We stand on the side of democracy.

Sincerely,

INTERNATIONAL

  1. ITUC - International Trade Union Confederation
  2. OXFAM (International)

AUSTRALIA

  1. Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
  2. Catholic Religious Australia
  3. Central American Pastoral House
  4. Communist Party of Australia WA Branch
  5. Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes in NSW
  6. Conservation Council of Western Australia
  7. Foro Social Latinoamericano Sydney
  8. Jesuit Social Services
  9. Jubilee Australia
  10. MADGE Australia Inc
  11. Maritime Union of Australia
  12. Maritime Union of Australia-Victorian Branch
  13. National Tertiary Education Union
  14. Oxfam Australia
  15. Salvadoran Club
  16. SEARCH Foundation
  17. Sisters of Charity
  18. SJ Around the Bay
  19. Socialist Alliance (Australia)
  20. The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network
  21. The International Grail Justice and Trade Agreements Network
  22. Victorian Trades Hall Council

CANADA

  1. Americas Policy Group
  2. Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network
  3. BTS-Breaking the Silence
  4. Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
  5. Canadians for Mining Awareness Peterborough
  6. CAMES – Canadians Against Mining in El Salvador
  7. Caring Rehab Ltd
  8. CDHAL-Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine
  9. CEBES-Martires de El Salvador
  10. CODESES-Comité para El Desarrollo de El Salvador
  11. Common Frontiers
  12. Consejo Científico de Salvadoreños en el Mundo
  13. Crescent United Church
  14. Cuba Edmonton Solidarity Committee
  15. CUPE - Canadian Union of Public Employees
  16. CUPE 3903
  17. CUPE Ontario
  18. CUPW-Canadian Union of Postal Workers
  19. El Pulgarcito de América Folklore Dance Group
  20. Foundation Oscar A Romero Canada
  21. FutureWatch EDEP
  22. Global Exchange
  23. Greater Victoria Seniors Association
  24. Humbercrest United Church
  25. IFPOR- International Festival of Poetry of Resistance
  26. Jesuit refugee and migrant service
  27. KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
  28. Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
  29. Latin-American Collective/Cafe Rebelde
  30. LatinoSoy Radio Program 96.1FM
  31. Mapuche Nation support Committee, Edmonton
  32. Memoria Viva Society of Edmonton
  33. Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
  34. Mining Justice Action Committee
  35. Mining Justice Action Committee (BC)
  36. Mining Justice Alliance
  37. Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)
  38. NJT Edmonton
  39. OCHU-Ontario Council of Hospital Unions
  40. Peoples' Health Movement, Canada
  41. Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local Union 488
  42. Polaris Institute
  43. PUCHKA Peru
  44. Quisetal - Coalition québécoise sur les impacts socio-environnementaux des transnationales en Amérique latine
  45. RightOnCanada
  46. Rights Action
  47. RRSE, Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale des entreprises
  48. SALVAIDE
  49. Salvadorean Canadian Association
  50. Servicios Internacionales Cristianos de Solidaridad con America Latina Oscar Romero
  51. SMAK (Sustainable Mining Alliance of the Kootenay's)
  52. Social Justice Committee of Montreal
  53. Solidarity Notes Labour Choir
  54. SOS EL SALVADOR
  55. St. Barnabas Anglican Church
  56. Taddle Creek Connection
  57. The United Church of Canada
  58. Torbela
  59. Toronto Haiti Action Committee
  60. Toronto, Women for a Just and Healthy Planet
  61. UBC Social Justice Centre
  62. USW-United Steelworkers
  63. VIVAECO
  64. Wirikuta Vancouver Alliance

 EL SALVADOR

  1. ALSACOOP - Alternativa Salvadoreña de Cooperativas
  2. ASAFOCAIS
  3. Asociación Ambiental la Maraña
  4. Asociación Madre Cria El Salvador
  5. Asociación de estudiantes de Trabajo Social (AETSUES)
  6. ADISPA - Asociación de Desarrollo Indígena Salvadoreña de los Pueblos Ancestrales
  7. CRIPDES - Asociación para el Desarrollo de El Salvador
  8. CRIPDES - CCR
  9. ADES -Asociación de Desarrollo Económico Social Santa Marta
  10. Asociación Catalana d'Enginyeria sense Fronteres
  11. CEICOM-Centro de Investigaciones de Comercio
  12. CESTA/FOE El Salvador
  13. COFOA -Comunidades de Fe Organizadas para la Acción
  14. Colectivo de Estudio de Pensamiento Crítico
  15. CONAMAS
  16. Consejo Coordinador Nacional Indígena Salvadoreño
  17. CONSALCOOP Confederación Salvadoreña de Cooperativas-El Salvador
  18. Consejo Feminista
  19. CORDES- Comité Para el Desarrollo Rural de El Salvador
  20. CRISPAZ
  21. FER
  22. Fundación Cristosal
  23. FESPAD -Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho
  24. Fundación REDES
  25. Fundación Río Lempa
  26. Fundademis
  27. Instituto Católico San Francisco de Asís
  28. Juxvida
  29. Justicia, Paz e Integridad de la Creación.
  30. Conferencia de Religiosas y Religiosos de El Salvador
  31. JPIC-OFM de El Salvador
  32. Mesa Nacional frente a la Minería Metálica
  33. Movimiento Social Estamos con voz
  34. Movimiento Salvadoreño de Mujeres
  35. MUFRAS 32 -Movimiento Unificado Francisco Sánchez
  36. Patria Exacta
  37. Plataforma Social del Pueblo Cuscatlán
  38. Red Activista – El Salvador
  39. Red de Ambientalistas Comunitarios de El Salvador
  40. UNES - Unidad Ecológica Salvadoreña

LATIN AMERICA

  1. ACPH Honduras(HN)
  2. Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos (MX)
  3. AMERG-Asociación de Maestros de Educación Rural de Guatemala(GT)
  4. Amigos de la Naturaleza en el Mundo, A.C.(MX)
  5. ARCA(CR)
  6. Asamblea Popular por el Agua(AR)
  7. Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad(CR)
  8. Asociación Regional Centroamericana para el Agua y el Ambiente(CR)
  9. Bios Iguana A.C.(MX)
  10. Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral(MX)
  11. Centro Humboldt(NI)
  12. CIP Americas Program(MX)
  13. Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua
  14. CTC_VZLA -Coalición de Tendencia Clasista (VN)
  15. Coalición Nacional de Redes Ambientales de Honduras(HN)
  16. Colectivo Casa(BO)
  17. Comité Ambiental Valle de Siria(HN)
  18. COMSA(MX)
  19. COPINH -Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras(HN)
  20. Consejo del Pueblo Huista-Wuxtaj(GT)
  21. CooperAcción(PE)
  22. Crónicas del Despojo(CO)
  23. CSMM -Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.(EC)
  24. Democracia y Territorio(MX)
  25. Democracy Center(BL)
  26. Departamento JPIC Obispado de Copiapo(EC)
  27. Diálogo 2000 - Jubileo Sur Argentina(AR)
  28. FANCA(CR)
  29. FIAN México(MX)
  30. Grito de los Excluidos Continental(BR)
  31. Instituto de Derecho Ambiental de Honduras(HN)
  32. Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario(MX)
  33. JPIC Nicaragua(NI)
  34. Justicia para la Naturaleza(CR)
  35. Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Solidarity Network(GT)
  36. Misioneras Cordi-Marianas(MX)
  37. Misioneros Claretianos(Colombia)
  38. Misioneros Claretianos(Honduras)
  39. MNIGR(HN)
  40. MACEM-Movimiento Ambiental Contra las Exploraciones y Concesiones Mineras(NI)
  41. Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo extractivo Minero(MX)
  42. Movimiento Social Nicaragüense "Otro Mundo es Posible"
  43. Network for Justice in Global Investment(BL)
  44. OLCA Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales
  45. Otros Mundos AC/Amigos de la Tierra México(MX)
  46. Otros Mundos Colombia(CL)
  47. PETARE INSURGENTE(VN)
  48. PIAP(MX)
  49. PIDHDD - Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo(EC)
  50. Red de Coordinación en Biodiversidad(CR)
  51. Red Ecológica, Social y Agropecuaria de Veraguas(PA)
  52. RMALC - Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio(MX)
  53. REMA- Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería (MX)
  54. REDES-Amigos de la Tierra (FoE) Uruguay(UR)
  55. S.O.S. HUASCO(CL)
  56. Sector de Trabajadores Adherentes a la Sexta(MX)
  57. Sister Parish Center(GT)
  58. Unión Campesina Panameña(PA)
  59. Unión Latinoamericana de Mujeres(PR)
  60. Universidad de la Tierra en Puebla(MX)

UNITED STATES

  1. AFL-CIO
  2. American Association of Jurists
  3. American Jewish World Service
  4. Amnesty International Las Cruces NM
  5. Arlington-Teosinte Sister City Project
  6. Asociación Q'anil
  7. Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
  8. Austin-Guajoyo Sister City Project
  9. Boulder Chapter Global Solutions
  10. Cambridge United for Justice with Peace
  11. Cambridge-Las Flores Sister City Project
  12. Center for Alternative Mining Development Policy
  13. Centro Latino Cuzcatlan
  14. Chicago-Cinquera Sister Cities
  15. CIEL - Center for International Environmental Law
  16. CISPES-Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador
  17. Citizens Trade Campaign
  18. Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities, Minnesota
  19. Colombia Support Network
  20. Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
  21. Conference of Major Superiors of Men
  22. CRISPAZ - Christians for Peace in El Salvador
  23. Cultural Survival
  24. Decorah (IA) United Methodist Sister Parish
  25. Denver Justice & Peace Committee
  26. Doctors for Global Health
  27. Earthworks
  28. Family Farm Defenders
  29. FOCUS Central America/Wichita
  30. Food & Water Watch
  31. Foundation Cristosal
  32. Franciscan Action Network
  33. Friends of the Earth US
  34. Global Connections. Washington Ethical Society
  35. Grassroots International
  36. Grupo Cajola
  37. Guatemala Human Rights Commission
  38. Immanuel Baptist Church, Rochester, NY
  39. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
  40. International League for Peace and Freedom
  41. International Labor Rights Forum
  42. InterReligious Task Force on Central America
  43. Institute for Policy Studies - Global Economy Project
  44. Jóvenes en Acción Política
  45. JPIC Claretianos América
  46. JPIC Office, Franciscan Friars, Holy Name Province, New York, NY
  47. Latin America Task Force, Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice
  48. Latin America Working Group
  49. Liberating Red Earth
  50. Life Weavings, LLC
  51. Madison Arcatao Sister City Project
  52. MAPC
  53. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  54. Medical Mission Sisters Alliance for Justice
  55. Midwest Coalition against Lethal Mining
  56. Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment
  57. Midwest Environmental Advocates
  58. Mingas-NY
  59. MOFGA/El Salvador Sistering Committee
  60. National Association of Social Workers
  61. National Lawyers Guild
  62. Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of United Church of Christ
  63. Office of the Americas
  64. OXFAM America
  65. Palm Springs Presbyterian Church
  66. Paulist Center of Boston Staff and Pastoral Council
  67. Pilgrim Prayer & Healing Ministries
  68. Power in Community Alliances(PICA)
  69. Presbyterian Mission Agency
  70. Public Citizen
  71. SANIPLAN
  72. SHARE El Salvador
  73. SHARE Foundation
  74. Sierra Club
  75. Sister Parish of First United Methodist Church, Decorah IA
  76. Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Institute Justice Team
  77. St. Camillus Catholic Church
  78. St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Central America
  79. St. Paul's Cathedral, Burlington, VT
  80. Texas Fair Trade Coalition
  81. The Midwest Coalition Against Lethal Mining
  82. U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities
  83. United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)
  84. Washington Ethical Society/GLOBAL CONNECTIONS
  85. WOLA – Washington Office on Latin America
  86. Watertown-El Salvador Sister City Committee
  87. Wildflower Unitarian Universalist Church Climate Action Team
  88. Witness for Peace
  89. Witness for Peace Northwest

OTROS PAISES

  1. ABC’éditions(France)
  2. Bretton Woods Project(England)
  3. Carbon Verde Solutions(Spain)
  4. CNCD-11.11.11(Belgium)
  5. Colectivo El Salvador Elkartasuna(Spain)
  6. Comité Solidaridad San Atanasio-Madrid(Spain)
  7. CRI-Christian Romero Initiative(Germany)
  8. Environmental Network for Central America(England)
  9. GMB Trade Union(England)
  10. IGLA -Information Group on Latin America (Austria)
  11. International Association of Health Policy in Europe(Greece)
  12. Jubilee Debt Campaign(England)
  13. Kaffeekampagne El Salvador(Denmark)
  14. KRUHA Indonesia(Indonesia)
  15. Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme(England)
  16. Misioneras de la Institución Claretiana(Spain)
  17. ONG AFRICANDO(Senegal)
  18. Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas y Guatemala de Madrid(Spain)
  19. Plataforma Salvemos Cabana (Galicia, Spain)
  20. Re:Common(Italy)
  21. Socialist Party of Switzerland(Switzerland)
  22. Stichting Bakens Verzet (NGO Another Way)(Netherlands)
  23. TEA-KOR(Korea)
  24. Transnational Institute(Netherlands)
  25. Urgewald(Denmark)
  26. XminY(Netherlands)

For information contac:  John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , tel: 202 234-9382

CC

Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General,ICSID

V.V. Veeder, Tribunal President

Brigitte Stern, Tribunal Member

Guido Santiago Tawil, Tribunal Member