International coalition supports El Salvador in battle against Canadian mining company

Some 300 groups urge World Bank to reject lawsuit that would devastate nation’s water

WASHINGTON – More than 300 civil society organizations with millions of members are supporting El Salvador in its legal battle with Canadian mining company Pacific Rim at the World Bank. Labor, environmental and grassroots groups from Canada, the U.S. and El Salvador will submit a letter to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on April 10 demanding a review of the lawsuit against El Salvador. 

Pacific Rim is demanding $301 million in compensation from El Salvador unless the government reconsiders its ban on mining. Pacific Rim sued El Salvador after a 2009 announcement by the Salvadoran government that it would not issue metal mining permits due to the risk it poses to the safety of water supplies. According to the World Bank, 90 percent of the surface water is heavily contaminated and 20 percent of its rural population lacks safe drinking water. Pacific Rim is using the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Disputes (ICSID) to challenge the moratorium on mining.