From the beginning, members of La Mesa realized that their efforts to stop mining in El Salvador must go beyond Salvadoran boundaries. Most mining companies in El Salvador are foreign corporations that move into resource rich countries taking advantage of investor rights clauses built into free trade agreements, FTAs. Communities have also realized that local governments are often forced into entering such agreements as part of debt service packages and other forms of pressure applied by international lending institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. As such La Mesa has worked with international partner organizations to bring attention to not only to its local struggle to ban mining in El Salvador, but also to the international trade systems that facilitate corporate rights over citizen’s rights. Members of La Mesa have participated in numerous public education tours in the US and Canada, and have engaged lobbying campaigns with US Senators and Members of Parliament in Canada.
Currently, La Mesa has made it a priority to build public support in Australia’s as Oceana Gold becomes involved with a Canadian corporation known for fostering the violation Human Right in El Salvador. The fact that Oceana Gold has a record of human rights violations in the Philippines is of extreme concern to La Mesa.
What are our objectives
- To engage in a dialogue with the Australian public, academics, civil society organizations and decision makers about Australian mining investments El Salvador and the impacts these investments are having in local populations.
- To contribute to the dialogue about investor-state clauses contained in trade agreements and the international tribunals, such as ICSID, developed to enforce these clauses.
- To gain public support from El Salvadoran/Australian communities for the work of the National Roundtable Against Mining and the International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador
- To educate the Salvadoran community living in Australia and to engage them with political figures in El Salvador to demand a prohibition of mining.