Anti-Mining Activist Disappears!

July 7, 2009

The SHARE Foundation denounces the disappearance of Marcelo Rivera, a renowned leader in the community of San Isidro in the northern department of Cabañas. Marcelo was last seen in the afternoon of June 18th near the town of Ilobasco, Cabañas. He was wearing a Bishop Oscar Romero t-shirt and blue jeans. Marcelo’s family, friends, and community members are desperately searching for him. They suspect that he may have been abducted for political reasons. Marcelo was one of the main FMLN leaders who denounced the presence of foreigners trying to vote illegally in San Isidro during the January 18th municipal elections. As a result, elections were suspended in the town and conducted a week later under strict oversight. Marcelo is a leader in the social resistance movement against the Canadian mining corporation, Pacific Rim. The mining company has been exploring for gold in the El Dorado mine located in Cabañas. Pacific Rim is currently suing El Salvador under CAFTA because the government has refused to grant the company permits to begin gold mining extraction.

Marcelo Rivera is a 37 year-old teacher who works as the Director of San Isidro’s Casa de la Cultura, a community center dedicated to promoting the local culture. Marcelo is also a founding member and Director of Friends of San Isidro Cabañas (ASIC), which is a member organization of the National Working Group Against Mining in El Salvador (La Mesa). In addition, Marcelo is an FMLN leader at the local level, serving as a party board member in the Cabañas chapter. This week, communities in San Isidro, ASIC, and other social organizations gathered in front of the Casa de la Cultura to express their concern and to pressure local and national authorities to begin investigations regarding the whereabouts of Marcelo. Students and teachers from San Isidro’s schools participated in the protest carrying signs asking authorities to stop violence, corruption, and impunity….Continue reading “Anti-Mining Activist Disappears.”

- Claudia Rodríguez, DC Policy Office Director


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