Joakin Salazar - Colatino
"Total disagreement with metal mining" is the result of the poll conducted by the University Institute of Public Opinion (IUDOP) of the Central American University, Jose Simeon Cañas (UCA), which states that 77% of population believe that the Salvadoran State should permanently prohibit mining in El Salvador.
The survey "Opinions and Perceptions toward Metallic Mining in El Salvador", seeks to give a voice to people who live in the 23 municipalities of the country where permits have been for the exploration for metallic mining have been extended.
According to Omar Serrano, Vice Dean for Social Projection of the UCA, the survey is in response to the PR campaign that OceanaGold mining company is conducting in municipalities where it has its operations, where it alleges it has the trust of the Salvadoran population.
"Faced with potential mineral exploitation, we want to point out that the claim that the mining operation has the support of the population, is totally false," said Vice Dean Serrano.
The results of the IUDOP survey show that at least 80 people in every hundred people believe the country is not suitable for metal mining, and that at least 76% of respondents disagreed with the introduction of mining projects.
According to IUDOP officials, the sample for this survey was of 1220 adults living in the 23 municipalities affected by mining.
The results indicate that 17.1% of respondents find that El Salvador is suitable for mining, with the argument that it would create jobs and economic development for communities. However, 86.5% said they would not work in a mine.
On the other hand, the respondents who do not support mining consider that the country is not suitable for metal exploitation due to environmental pollution and to the lack of territorial extension
The survey also indicated that 89.9% believe the Metal Mining generates water pollution and eight out of ten respondents think that agriculture, livestock and fishing would be affected as a result of mining projects in their municipalities.
For IUDOP, UCA and OXFAM authorities the poll confirms the widespread disagreement of the communities facing possible mining projects, which is that the population identify not only positive impacts, but also the serious negative impacts that it could bring to their communities.
In addition, the survey confirms that the installation of mining in El Salvador could turn into a serious humanitarian crisis due to the pollution and the high consumption of water demanded by this industry, “this could generate violations of human rights” ensures Vice Dean Serrano.
Finally, the survey shows that mining concerns not only relate to Salvadoran projects, there are other neighboring countries as Guatemala and Honduras that have approved mining projects that could have consequences in El Salvador.
Given this, UCA authorities consider it necessary that El Salvador works on the issue of metal mining with countries of the northern triangle to prevent the country from being further harmed by the actions of other governments.