Challenging Corporate Power and their “Free Trade” Agenda With Solidarity: Report Back From Fact-Finding Delegation on Gold Mining in El Salvador

Date: Friday, June 21, 2013 – 6:30pm
University of Toronto Campus-OISE

252 Bloor St W – Room 5160

Toronto, ON

Join us for a discussion on the struggle to defend water and life itself against the threat of mining in El Salvador. The speakers will share their experiences and findings from a recent international fact-finding mission examining the implications of large-scale gold mining on water in El Salvador, as well as its linkages to Free trade agreements, international trade tribunals and Canadian mining interests.

Speakers include:
Betty Araniva – Salvadoreños en El Mundo
Raul Burbano – Common Frontiers
Stacey Gomez – Mining Injustice Solidarity Network

Event sponsored by Salvadoran Canadian Association (ASALCA), Common Frontiers and Council of Canadians

Facebook event:

In 2009, El Salvador stopped issuing exploration and exploitation permits. Now, two mining companies – Canadian-based Pacific Rim and US-based Commerce Group – are suing the small Central American country for over $400 million in compensation through a secretive World Bank trade tribunal, in a costly legal battle. Meanwhile, communities in El Salvador continue to grapple with the environmental degradation, human rights violations and displacements caused by the activities of these mining companies locally.

In May international delegates from 12 countries representing 22 organizations concluded a three day fact-finding mission in El Salvador aimed at examining the local impacts and future threats of large-scale gold mining in the country. The delegation included visits to three key sites, illustrating the impacts of transnational gold mining at different stages, as well as local resistance and resilience. Sites included: the town of San Sebastian, department of La Unión where Commerce Group operated a gold mine on and off for decades; communities in the department of Cabañas where Pacific Rim’s exploration activities gave rise to widespread opposition; and the town of Asunción Mita, department of Jutiapa, Guatemala, on the border with El Salvador, home to Goldcorp’s Cerro Blanco project.

Useful Links:

Preliminary Report – “Gold Mining and the Defense of Water in El Salvador”:

“El Salvador mining ban could establish a vital water security precedent”:

“International delegation confronts Mining in El Salvador”:

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