“We can Live Without Gold, but We Cannot Live Without Water”
Earlier this summer the Executive Branch of the Salvadoran government released a Mining Suspension Bill which would temporarily suspend all mining activity in El Salvador. Although this is an active step towards environmental justice in the country, environmentalists argue that this bill does not permanently stop mining exploitation. President Funes has not granted any mining permits since 2009 but the withstanding years have not allowed the affected regions like San Sebastian and Cabanas to heal. It was in the same year that two of these companies, Pacific Rim and Commerce Group, sued the Salvadoran government for denying their gold mining permit. The contamination of the Salvadoran waterways has immensely diminished the quality of life for the people in many small towns, to the point where even the act of washing one’s hands is treacherous.
Environmental advocates like The National Roundtable Against Mining and the Water Forum continue to express their disapproval of the bill presented by the executive branch and support a bill called the “Special Law for the Suspension of Administrative Procedures Related to Metallic Mining”. As the struggle to protect the rich soils and hundreds of flowing rivers in the country, international advocates from the New Economy Working Group recently visited El Salvador and provided a captivating recollection of their sights and experience while witnessing the destruction left behind by metallic mining activities. To read the full story click here.