- Published on Monday, 18 May 2015 20:46
A Salvadoran delegation is in Canada this week to warn of how investor provisions threaten democracy, public health, and environment
In a case illustrating the dangers of corporate-friendly provisions buried in trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secret tribunal is on the brink of issuing a ruling any day that that could force the Central American country of El Salvador to pay $301 million to a Canadian-Australian gold-mining firm.
OceanaGold, which purchased the Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining in 2013, is suing El Salvador—the most water-stressed country in the region—for an amount equivalent to 5 percent of its gross domestic product for refusing to grant it a permit to put a gold mine into operation.
- Published on Monday, 18 May 2015 20:36
As the world looks for innovative solutions to solve the rapidly worsening water crisis, two Salvadoran experts are touring Canada this week to promote a simple strategy that could save the public billions of dollars.
Yanira Cortez, Deputy Attorney for the Environment for El Salvador's Human Rights Ombudsperson's Office and Marcos Gálvez, President of the Association for the Development of El Salvador are calling on Canadians to help solve the water crisis by challenging investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms that have enabled corporations to sue governments for hundreds of millions of dollars when policies aimed at protecting the environment threaten corporate profits.
- Published on Monday, 18 May 2015 20:24
The company’s proposed gold mine would have used thousands of tons of cyanide and hundreds of thousand liters of water per day
In anticipation of an imminent ruling from the World Bank’s little known investor-state arbitration tribunal that could force El Salvador to pay Canadian mining firm OceanaGold US$301 million, a Salvadoran delegation is in Canada to discuss how this arbitration process threatens democratic decision making, public health and the environment here and beyond.
“As United Nations expert Alfred de Zayas recently expressed, the impact that investor-state arbitrations have already had and will have on human rights is very worrisome,” warned Yanira Cortez, Deputy Attorney for the Environment for El Salvador’s Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office, at an event in Ottawa this week. “We know that just the threat of these lawsuits can force governments in the Global South – and even here in Canada – to go against the public interest when it comes to health and environmental protections.”
- Published on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 22:03
Alejandro Guevara hasn’t slept. There was a death in La Maraña, and Guevara, the vice president of the community environmental association, spent the night at the wake. Still, he doesn’t skip a beat as he describes recent violence in his small Salvadoran village, running dates and names, his own included. Someone fired shots at Guevara’s home in October 2013. An anonymous person then called to his cell to ask whether anyone in the house had died.
Murders, threats, and attacks have followed the environmental activists who oppose a gold mining project in the Cabañas department in northern El Salvador. The list is a work in progress. On April 4, police harassed Santos Neftalí Ruíz, a priest and the president of the Cabañas Environmental Committee. READ MORE