Translated from: http://tinyurl.com/mhvvolz
By: Elder Gomez, CoLatino News
El Salvador faces an "international mafia" seeking control of the country's natural resources, through "frivolous" legal international disputes, in which this nation has spent more than $3 million, while preparing a counterclaim to an Italian company that controls 51 percent of the shares for the national geothermal resource extraction, warned the Attorney General, Luis Martinez.
Meanwhile, representatives of the non-government organization, The National Roundtable Against Metallic Mining in El Salvador, warned that Australian company Oceana Gold, which acquired this month for $ 10.2 million US the shares of Canadian mining company Pacific Rim, seeking to exploit metals in the northern part of the country, could be negotiating with representatives of local political parties the approval of permits for the establishment the company’s mining projects in El Salvador.
During a lecture, on Monday, before a legislative committee studying the budget of the various agencies of the State , Martinez revealed to the deputies that with international law suits El Salvador is facing with Pacific Rim-now Oceana Gold- , and Italy's Enel Green Power, "we are facing heavy expenditures ."
"We wonder, and this something that should be investigated - about the obscure business(of Pacific Rim) that could be brewing on the campaign trail(with political parties) to secure conditions for metal mining" in El Salvador , warns , the organization against metal mining in a statement.
"We are facing international mafias, with frivolous law suits," said the Attorney General after announcing that the case against the Italian company ENEL, which is aired under an international court in France," has entered the “discovery phase."
El Salvador has spent more than $3 US million in international disputes with both transnational corporations, for the alleged signing of dubious contracts with previous administrations, one of which - ENEL - is being investigated by the Attorney General and the Auditor General, as former Salvadoran officials who signed the contract may have engaged in embezzlement.
ENEL Green Power has sued El Salvador under an international court in France, because the government refused to ratify a commercial agreement, signed during the administration of former President Francisco Flores(1999-2004), that has allowed the Italian transnational corporation full control of the total exploitation of geothermal resources, one of the main sources of electrical power in the country.
Pacific Rim, now Oceana Gold, has claimed $315 million from El Salvador for withholding mining permits, mainly in the El Dorado mine, in the northern department of Cabañas, where many activists against metal mining metal have been killed, or threatened with violence in recent years, according to La Mesa.
"the Mining companies mentioned, have also proven to use a perverse way of working" , recalled the NGO. "Wherever have they set up projects, in the Philippines, New Zealand and El Salvador, have been marked by human rights violations and damage to the ecosystems," the release said.
Martinez has asked Congress to approve budget of more than $45 US million for the fiscal year 2014, and $4 US million more to settle international awards against both multinational companies, and announced that he will be traveling in the coming days to New York to meet with prosecutors in the U.S. to prepare the counterclaim to ENEL Green Power.
La Mesa Against Metallic Mining in El Salvador noted in the statement that Salvadoran political parties, "are especially prone to being pressured to enable the exploitation of mining projects that threaten the possibilities of life in this country."
“It is not unusual to suspect, (possible interference) given the established links between political parties, local entrepreneurs and mining companies in El Salvador, " the news release added,
The project to approve a "Prohibition of Metallic Mining in El Salvador " remains stagnant in the