UPDATE: Stop the Suits, Close the (Kangaroo) Court!

On May 15th, 2015, MISN and allies carried out a public theatre action in anticipation of an imminent ruling from a little-known arbitration tribunal at the World Bank that could force El Salvador to pay Canadian-Australian mining firm OceanaGold US$301 million for denying a gold mining permit.

The tribunal was performed in front of First Canadian Place, the building where OceanaGold’s To11233549_1432031163766971_2620299397100325796_nronto office is located, and included a Kangaroo “judge”, two tribunal members, and representatives from OceanaGold. Protestors were present to denounce this “Kangaroo Court” and condemn the lawsuit for attempting to rob El Salvador and punish an entire country for trying to protect its water. The protestors were joined by two guests from El Salvador who addressed the tribunal – Yanira Cortez, the Deputy Attorney for the Environment fo El Salvador’s Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office, and Marcos Galvez, President of the Association for the Development of El Salvador. The speakers highlighted how investor-state arbitration threatens democratic decision-making, public health and the environment here and beyond our borders.

The protestors then delivered nearly 175,000 signatures on a petition condemning OceanaGold’s lawsuit to the Canadian Trade Commissioner’s Office. This petition can still be signed at: http://action.sumofus.org/a/el-salvador-mining-lawsuit/

Background info:

OceanaGold is suing El Salvador for an amount equivalent to 5% of its gross domestic product for not having granted it a permit to put a gold mine into operation, despite its project not having met regulatory requirements. Originally, Pacific Rim Mining launched the suit in 2009 after the first of three successive Salvadoran Presidents committed to an effective moratorium on new mining projects given concerns over potential impacts on already taxed water supplies. OceanaGold purchased Pacific Rim Mining in 2013, narrowly saving it from bankruptcy, and has stubbornly continued with the case. The International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) at the World Bank could release its decision on the suit any day.

More photos (all taken by Allan Lissner) here:

11265114_1432030863767001_4560408249024506321_n 10403349_1432030860433668_5693601041460440475_n 10984235_1432030857100335_5759868272571491808_n  17641_1432030920433662_2148309207195824478_n 988557_1432031077100313_1776376257693646666_n  10404396_1432031177100303_956073424655274153_n 11143209_1432030990433655_3041019192351903119_n  11041283_1432031080433646_6979756114013470421_n 11215798_1432031183766969_7003079623547716901_n  11228920_1432030987100322_7672571375555957171_n11229407_1432030917100329_5097826844710680027_n  11249852_1432030997100321_6292823061677986946_n10408529_1432031247100296_367854464729147646_n  10423768_1432031253766962_6036414604353802833_n  11138088_1432031373766950_5078714657517818443_n  11248165_1432031260433628_8217280126321526650_n10563170_1432031367100284_5387898059216224671_n  10403491_1432031363766951_8606934709156159515_n  

Comments are closed.