Gold and Latin America
In the surroundings of San Marcos, Guatemala, the gold and silver mine of the Canadian Goldcorp Inc. which operates in Guatemala under the name Montana Explorada, has been ready for extraction since 2004. This is yet another blow for the environment and health of the communities of San Miguel and surroundings.
Five representatives of five organizations in El Salvador that form part of the National Coalition Against Mining, known as La Mesa, were in Washington, DC last month to accept the Letelier-Moffitt International Human Rights Award. The recognition comes at an interesting time as the group’s successes in blocking mining exploitation in their small country, have brought about a unique legal situation. Namely, a Canadian mining company is suing the government of El Salvador for $100 million, through a US subsidiary under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The Real News followed the group of activists around Washington, DC, and interviewed the CEO and president of the company behind the suit, Pacific Rim. Produced by Jesse Freeston.
A 37-year-old teacher, community center founder, and anti-mining activist is found tortured and assassinated in Northern El Salvador. Authorities, despite all evidence to the contrary, attribute the death to common gang violence. In the following weeks, other critics of mining are victims of death threats, attempted kidnappings and shootings. Communities plunged into fear not seen since the Civil War of the 1980s place the blame on the presence of Pacific Rim, a Canadian gold mining company.