Latest Reports and Studies

Peoples Sovereignty vs Impunity Inc.

In eight articles various cases are presened that aim to serve as tools of action for activists to use in their fight for justice against th...

The Fight Against Gold Mining in El Salvador

Article on the Chalatenango Free of Mining Campaign published in Practicing Anthropology. Read Here...

PRESS RELEASE: Mining, Corporate Social Respo…

Download the Report here (Ottawa/Washington/Melbourne)  A new study finds that OceanaGold’s attempt to rebrand its propose...

'Let Us Care for Everyone's Home': The Cathol…

A recently published essay by Phd candidate Rachel Nadelman looks at the role of the Catholic Church in the anti-mining struggle in El Salva...

  • International Allies Against Mining in El SalvadorWe are a group of organisations from Australia Canada, Europe and the U.S. that support the Salvadoran people's demand for sovereignty, the right to water and healthy communities. We coordinate our work with the National Roundtable against Metallic Mining in El Salvador and with communities directly affected by mining projects.  

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Mega projects unite social movements from Honduras and El Salvador

Gloria Orellana – CoLatino.

Berta Caceres' murder did not fall on "deaf ears", peasant and indigenous organizations from Honduras and El Salvador have decided, under a banner of solidarity, to unite to fight against mining, monoculture and the protection of water and ecosystems.

Abel Lara, coordinator of the October 12 - Popular Resistance Movement of El Salvador, said that the meeting of different peasant and indigenous movements from Honduras and El Salvador was to assess the reality and experiences that both nations face in relation to "megaprojects" that generate forced migration of populations, pollution and theft of natural resources.

 "The struggle of Berta and the people of Honduras was hopeful, but she was killed cruelly and we know that the US is indirectly involved, as they have been intensifying their interventions in the region," he said.

The "binational meeting" of social organizations, environmentalists and indigenous peoples took place in the mountains of Arcatao, Chalatenango, where they sought consensus to unify their struggles against Mega Projects in Central America.

Lara said that the decision to unite both social agendas will allow for the construction of communication and mobilization tools for organizations to defend through direct action any rural and indigenous communities that may be threatened.

"Big megaprojects will enter our region under the Alliance for Prosperity of the Northern Triangle are of concern, we know their strategy is to seize the unique remaining natural resources, such as water and mining projects that utilize thousands of cubic meters per day, and is also the forced migration of peoples ", he argued.

By joining forces and sharing demands, Lara said, we can build an identity and as such develop the capacity to dialogue and negotiate with government authorities and transnational corporations who often introduce their projects without consulting with the people.

"The Neoliberal economic model applied in the region has abandoned our people and specifically the rural sector and indigenous peoples. Why?, the neoliberal development model only brings exploitation of natural resources, but does provide  sustainble development for the people, so women and men have raised in resistance and to propose our own vision of development and life, which is definitely linked to respect for nature," he said.

Tomas Gomez Membreño, who is the acting Coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) after the murder of Berta Caceres, expressed that we have the challenge to integrate social struggles and spread them throughout Central America.

"By speaking of a common struggle in Central America, we take a major step, because we see the same patterns of criminalization of social movements and popular struggles; and the dispossession of indigenous lands, and concessions and privatizations that are pushed through, multinational and local companies, "he said.

A blunt NO to mining in Arcatao, Chalatenango

Gloria Silvia Orellana - CoLatino /Translation - Marina Bonetti

The rough and wrinkled hands of Santos Armendariz are a true reflection of his age and a life dedicated to the fields, without hesitation these marked "No" on the ballot for the referendum to "defend" against metal mining in the municipality of Arcatao, Chalatenango.

Santos comes from a small valley in the canton of Teosinte, Arcatao.  At 84 years of age and with health difficulties, he took most his time to approach a polling station to vote for the local government to issue a "Municipal Ordinance" prohibiting metallic mining in their municipality. "I came to vote because they (the mining company) will destroy the hills and leave me without home. For me this is not good because I will become homeless and without water, true? ... I can die shortly, but what about the little ones that are left" he reflected.

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Arcatao: participatory democracy defeats mining

Marina Bonneti

Successful referendum puts Municipality of Arcatao among the few official Mining-Free Territories in El Salvador

On Sunday, November 8th Arcatao became the fourth Municipality in the Department of Chalatenango to be declared a Mining-Free territory. A public referendum revealed that the large majority of the population rejects the idea of exploration and exploitation projects in its area.

Eight voting centres were set up in the different cantons of the Municipality of Arcatao, in order to make it easier for citizens living in remote locations to express their vote. 

José Avelar, mayor of Arcatao, was proud to announce that 1027 votes were cast, meaning that the turnout was around 67% of the active voting population. Out of these votes, only 3 were “yes” (thus in favor of mining activities), one was a null vote, and the remaining 1023 formed a strong “no” voice. Thus the final result showed that an overwhelming 99% of the population that expressed their opinion is opposed to mining.

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Municipality of Arcatao calls for a referendum on mining

By Marvin Diaz: Gato Encerrado - Translation: P. Cabezas

Various social organizations in collaboration with the Municipality of Arcatao, Chalatenango, unveiled a plan for the fourth referendum on metal mining to be held on November 8 this year. The consultation aims to get public support to adopt an environmental ordinance that prohibits mining in the municipality.

Jose Avelar, Mayor of Arcatao, spoke about the problems and the deterioration of the environment diverse communities in El Salvador are living due to past mining practices. "We are convinced that San Salvador consumes water from the hills of Chalatenango and if mining becomes a reality in our municipalities, the first affected will surely be the people of San Salvador and our communities," said the mayor.

The official lamented the poor decisions of previous governments that extended permits to Canadian mining companies to exploit these resources. "We are paying for bad decision made by previous governments. If governments had consulted the public before making a decision to authorize exploration permits in the country, we would not have the mining problem, "said Avelar.

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Christian Romero Initiative and Stop Mad Mining invite Bernardo Belloso from CRIPDES to Europe

Von Svenja Riebow: Amerika21  - Translation: Marina Bonetti

bernieFrom September 30th to October 15th, Bernardo Belloso, president of the Association for Development travelled on a speaking tour through Germany, Slovakia and Romania to report on the social resistance against gold mining in El Salvador, to participate in public events, lobby meetings with elected politicians, civil society organizations and press conferences.  Mr. Belloso also travelled to Bratislava (Slovakia), for a speaking engagement at the International Conference on Responsible Mining (October 6th-7th) where he spoke about the experiences of CRIPDES, along with civil society organizations in El Salvador,  have waged against mining companies. Finally Mr. Belloso travelled to Romania to meet with representatives of the resistance against gold mining in Rosia Montana. As El Salvador, Romania has been sued by a Canadian mining corporation because it was refused a mining licence.

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Arcatao: the next municipality to hold a referendum on mining in El Salvador

Photos/translation: Marina Bonetti 

Citizens of the communities of Cicachuite, Cerro Grande, Teosinte, Chavarria, El Sitio, Los Rivera, Los Guardado, El Portillo, Los Alas, Los Orellana, Los Merino, El Pepeto, Gualsimaca, Las Vegas, and the town itself, all belonging to the Municipality of Arcatao, in the Department of Chalatenango, presented a package of signatures collected in their communities in order to ask the Municipal Council for the call of a public referendum that could declare this Municipality a “Mining-Free Territory”.

arcataoSix years after the implementation of an administrative freeze on processes related to mining by the Salvadoran Government, social organizations opposed to the mining industry are intensifying their national campaign to demand a permanent ban on mining activities.

Faced with the failure of the Legislative Assembly to apply a definitive ban at the national level, social organizations such as CRIPDES, CORDES, CCR, members of the Mesa Nacional Frente a la Mineria Metàlica (National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining) based in the department of Chalatenango, are leading a campaign for public referenda. These are intended to determine whether communities agree with the establishment of mineral extraction projects in their territory.

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Recent News

Looming threats to the mining prohibition in El Salvador

Mining prohibition El Salvador - Thursday, 8 February 2018 - 07:02 AM

P. Cabezas In March 2017, El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban metallic mining. But the huge victory of the antimining movement and the international recognition it has garnered may be overshadowed by a current electoral campaign...

Lack of proposals from political candidates on the Environmental Crisis in El Sa…

Media Releases - Thursday, 8 February 2018 - 06:02 AM

PRESS RELEASE: National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining  For many years El Salvador has faced serious environmental degradation provoked in its majority by industrial processes of big corporations.  In 2018 the panorama would have been even worse, if El Salvador had given...

Long-Fought-For Ombudsperson Announced to Investigate International Complaints a…

Mining and Human Rights - Thursday, 8 February 2018 - 06:02 AM

NEWS RELEASE : January 17, 2018 (Ottawa) Today, Canada’s International Trade Minister announced the creation of a Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise to investigate human rights complaints about the overseas operations of Canadian companies and recommend remedy for harm done. The ombudsperson’s recommendations...

A year with a bitter taste in environmental matters in El Salvador

Mining prohibition El Salvador - Thursday, 1 February 2018 - 15:02 PM

Alfredo Carias: Vanguardia In the midst of an important victory in El Salvador, an evaluation of the social and environmental conditions in the country contrasts to the achievements obtained with the prohibition of mining. According to the Salvadoran authorities, progress has been...

National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining demands justice in the case of murde…

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Thursday, 1 February 2018 - 14:02 PM

Marisol Miranda: CoLatino Although there is a law against mining, fear is always present. “OceanaGold still owns the El Dorado miming project, and they are only waiting for a change of government for it to be installed again", said Domingo Miranda, at...

Can Victory Over Irresponsible Mining in Central America Spur a Win in the Phili…

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Thursday, 1 February 2018 - 13:02 PM

John Cavanagh, Robin Broad : RAPPLER OceanaGold was stunningly defeated in El Salvador last March. Can it be defeated in the Philippines by 2019? In March 2017, the small nation of El Salvador took a huge step towards protecting its environment for present and future generations...

Latin American Women Weaving Territories

Media Releases - Thursday, 1 February 2018 - 13:02 PM

PRESS RELEASE WOMEN OF GUATEMALA, HONDURAS AND EL SALVADOR DENOUNCE THE IMPACTS OF THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES The women of the Peaceful Resistance La Puya and the Municipality of Mataquescuintla, in Guatemala; RENACAMIH and COPINH, Honduras, ADES Santa Marta in El Salvador, and...

ICSID on the bench of the accused

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Wednesday, 15 November 2017 - 05:11 AM

Rufo Valencia - Radio Canada International Manuel Perez Rocha interviewed by Radio Canada International. Click here to hear the interview.  One year ago, an international coalition of civil society organizations, where Mining Watch Canada participated, released a press statement entitled: “There are no...

Mining company continues lobbying efforts to repeal Anti-Mining Law

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 19:11 PM

Mario Beltrán - Contrapunto Environmental NGOs fear that the approaching electoral season might advance the company´s goals at the expense of the environment. Environmental organizations are worried about the promotion and education on mining that the El Dorado Foundation (face of "Corporate Social...

Collective reflections towards the UN Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporatio…

Pacific Rim/OceanaGold - Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 19:11 PM

  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO VIDEO: On the occasion of the third session of the UN Human Rights Council open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG), the Transnational Institute, Europe-Third World...

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