CALL FOR SUPPORT: International month of action against Canadian/Australian miner OceanaGold

CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT

The International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador call on our friends and allies to support the National Roundtable against Metallic Mining and mining-affected communities in El Salvador to take a stand against Canadian-Australian mining company OceanaGold.

In October 2013, Australian based company OceanaGold acquired Pacific Rim Mining, a Canadian firm ensnarled in a deadly conflict in the northern department of Cabañas, El Salvador, where communi-ties have said no to mining for over a decade.

Since 2005, mining-affected communities, the National Roundtable against Metallic Mining, the Catholic Church, political parties, government institutions and public opinion have expressed opposition to mining given the negative impacts of proposed mining projects on this, the most densely populated country in the region that is largely dependent on a single watershed. In a rare instance of national consensus, in 2008, the government of El Salvador introduced a de facto moratorium on mining that the current administration has publicly promised to maintain.

The mining moratorium prompted Pacific Rim Mining to sue the government of El Salvador for $301 ida3million US at a World-Bank housed tribunal, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Meanwhile, the company engaged in high level lobbying of national authorities to try to have its license approved. At the community level in Cabañas, it led a disastrous community relations campaign that engendered deadly conflict in the communities surrounding its El Dorado mining project. At least five anti mining activists have been assassinated since 2009 whose murders have not been ade-quately investigated. Many other environmental defenders currently live under continuous death threats against their lives and the lives of their families.

The state of insecurity generated in Cabañas prompted the Inter American Commission on Human Right-IACHR to issue 2009 precautionary measures ordering the Government of El Salvador to “adopt the measures necessary to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries, and to inform the IACHR about any actions taken to investigate the facts.”

Despite widespread opposition to mining in El Salvador and narrowly sparing Pacific Rim Mining from bankruptcy, OceanaGold purchased Pacific Rim Mining for $10.2 million US in late 2013. OceanaGold vowed to continue fighting the suit, while seeking a negotiated solution with El Salvadoran officials. The case will reach its final hearing On September 15th, 2014.

The stakes for Salvadorans are high.  The legal costs and a potentially negative outcome of the suit, could deteriorate the government's capacity to prevent further migrations, curb the chronic insecurity in the country and implement policies for sustainable economic growth.  A democratically elected government should not be punished for standing up for the common good.   

During the month of September, please join solidarity actions taking place in Australia, Canada, the US and El Salvador to support the just demands of mining-affected communities and their allies.

 

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Mes de solidaridad

SEPTIEMBRE 2014: MES DE SOLIDARIDAD  CON COMUNIDADES AFECTADAS POR LA MINERIA EN EL SALVADOR 

Los Aliados Internacionales Frente la Minería en El Salvador invitamos a nuestros amigos y aliados a apoyar a la Mesa Nacional Frente la Minería y comunidades afectadas por la minería en El Salvador para enfrentar la empresa Canadiense/Australiana, OceanaGold.

En octubre de 2013, la empresa minera Australiana OceanaGold adquirió Pacific Rim Mining, una empresa Canadiense involucrada en un conflicto letal en el departamento de Cabañas, El Salvador, donde las comunidades han dicho no al proyecto minero el Dorado por más de una década.

Desde 2005, comunidades afectadas por la minería, la Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería Metálica, la Iglesia Católica, partidos políticos, instituciones gubernamentales y la opinión pública han expresado su oposición a la minería en El Salvador debido a los impactos negativos que estos proyectos mineros tendrían en el país más densamente poblado en el región. El Salvador depende en gran medida de una sola cuenca hidrográfica la cual seria afectada por proyectos mineros. En un rara instancia de consenso nacional, el gobierno de El Salvador introdujo una moratoria, de facto, a la minería, la cual se ha mantenido durante la actual administración del presidente Sanchez Ceren.

La moratoria minera provoco que la empresa Pacific Rim Mining demandara al estado Salvadoreño por $301 millones ante el Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias Relativas a Inversiones (CIADI), un tribunal del Banco Mundial.  Mientras tanto, la empresa se dedicó a presionar a autoridades nacionales para tratar de obtener la aprobación de su licencia.  A nivel local en Cabañas, PacificRim lanzo un desastrosa campaña de relaciones comunitarias que engendró graves conflictos en las comunidades que rodean su proyecto minero El Dorado. Al menos cinco activistas anti-mineros fueron asesinados desde 2009 hasta el 2011, y sus casos nunca han sido investigados adecuadamente por las autoridades. Otros defensores del medio ambiente siguen hoy en día bajo continuas amenazas de muerte contra sus vidas y las vidas de sus familias.

El estado de inseguridad generado en Cabañas llevó a la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos CIDH a dictar medidas cautelares y ordenar al Gobierno de El Salvador a "adoptar las medidas necesarias para garantizar la vida e integridad personal de los beneficiarios, así como informar a la CIDH sobre todas las medidas adoptadas para investigar los hechos".

A pesar de la amplia oposición a la minería en El Salvador, OceanaGold rescato a Pacific Rim Mining de la bancarrota, y la adquirió por $10.2 millones USD a finales de 2013. OceanaGold prometió continuar con demanda, mientras buscaba una solución negociada con funcionarios salvadoreños.  El caso alcanzará su audiencia final El 15 de septiembre de 2014.

Los riesgos para los salvadoreños son altos. Ademas de los costos legales, un resultado negativo para el Salvador podría agudizar problemas sociales como la inmigración de indocumentados, la inseguridad crónica del país y reducir la capcidad del gobierno de implementar políticas para el desarrollo sustentable. Un gobierno elegido democráticamente no debería ser castigado por proteger los bienes comunes.

Durante el mes de septiembre, únete a acciones de solidaridad que llevaran a cabo en Australia, Canadá y Estados Unidos y El Salvador para apoyar las justas demandas de las comunidades afectadas por la minería y sus aliados.

HOW TO SUPPORT IMA

HOW TO SUPPORT THE INTERNATIONAL MONTH OF SOLIDARITY

  • Have your organization endorse an open letter to the CEO and President of OceanaGold.
  • Sign a petition asking OceanaGold to leave El Salvador. To sign the petition click here.
  • Support actions in front the offices of OceanaGold in Canada, Australia and El Salvador. For a list of events click here.
  • Organize rallies or visits to Australian and Canadian embassies around the world to express your concerns about the negative impacts of Australian mining corporations in El Salvador and the unjust investment protection regime that they have helped put in place that allows company to sue governments when they make decisions they don't like. To register your action visit here.
  • Have a video presentation and discussion on the impacts mining in a small country like El Salvador. To find the most recent video on mining in El Salvador click here
  • Participate and promote digital actions by tweeting and sending Facebook and email messages to the company to drop the suit and leave El Salvador.

Facebook pages

www.facebook.com/no.mineria.svwww.facebook.com/WaterNotGold , www.facebook.com/noalamineria,     www.facebook.com/NoOceanaGold

Twitter/hashtags

#OceanaGoldGetOutES, #heypacificrim#dropthesuit@no_mineria_sv@stopesmining

  • Participate in an international delegation to learn about the impacts of mining in El Salvador and be an international observer to community consultations on mining. For more information click here

 

IDA List of events

List of already confirmed actions and events


September 3rd

Press conference OceanaGold campaign launch.  LOCATION: San Salvador, El Salvador. CONTACT: alfredo.carias@gmail.com


 September 5th

Rally at the offices of OceanaGold. LOCATION: 250 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia. CONTACT:kevin.bracken@mua.org.au


 September 5th -TBC

Rally at the offices of the World Bank. LOCATION: Sidney, Australia CONTACT: kevin.bracken@mua.org.au


 September 10th

Spanish release of “8 Falsehoods of OceanaGold/Pacific Rim in El Salvador” - Online Release, CONTACT:stopesmining@gmail.com 


September 10th

Rally in Front of the offices of OceanaGold. LOCATION: 100 king street West, Toronto, Ontario. CONTACT:mkarunananthan@canadians.org MORE INFO: https://www.facebook.com/events/740679675997867/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming


 September 15th

Rally in front of the Offices of the World Bank- LOCATION: 1818 H St NWWashington, DC. CONTACT: manuel@ips-dc.org   MORE INFO: http://www.ips-dc.org/events/protest-world-banks-icsid-hearing-lawsuit-el-salvador/


September 15th 

Festival for Sovereignty in El Salvador.  LOCATION: San Isidro, Cabañas, El Salvador CONTACT: hectorgarciaberrios@yahoo.com


 September 17th 

Rally at the offices of the World Bank, San Salvador. LOCATION: Torre Futura, Colonia Escalon, San Salvador. CONTACT: alfredo.carias@gmail.com


September 17th - TBC

Delegation Visit to Australian Embassy, Press conference at Parliament Hill. LOCATION: Wellington St, Ottawa, Canada. CONTACT:  director@salvaide.ca


September 17th - TBC

Delegation visit Australian Consulate. LOCATION: 1075 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC. CONTAC: hwmunoz@gmail.com


 September 14-22

International delegation on mining to El Salvador, Territories free of mining. Various locations in El Salvador.  

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