The SHARE Blog

Another anti-mining activist killed in El Salvador. Please show your solidarity!

June 16, 2011

With heavy hearts, we report that Juan Francisco Durán Ayala, anti-mining activist and university student, has been killed. SHARE El Salvador expresses our solidarity with Juan Francisco Durán Ayala’s family, the Cabañas Environmental Committee (CAC), and all those working to defend human rights and prevent metallic mining in El Salvador.

The National Working Group Against Mining Press Conference

On June 2, in the city of Ilobasco, Cabañas, thirty year-old Juan Francisco Duran Ayala was putting up fliers and banners that asked for the approval of a law against metal mining and for the Canadian mining company Pacific Rim to leave Cabañas as part of  a CAC campaign. Juan Francisco Durán was last seen on June 3rd at the Technological University, where he was a model student in his fourth year of studies. His body was found after midnight on June 4th. Despite a missing persons report with a photo and identifying features, the Medical Examiner buried his body in a common grave in a San Salvador cemetery. It was not until 10 days later that members of the CAC discovered that his body had been found. Juan Francisco’s father positively identified his body after it was exhumed.

Juan Francisco was shot twice in the head, execution style. There has yet to be any investigation into his murder. Read More »

Action Alert: Anti-Mining Activist Missing

June 14, 2011

“Two years after the kidnapping and murder of anti-mining activist Marcelo Rivera, those responsible for his death continue to do as they please while prosecutors and the police continue with false assumptions and inadequate investigations.” –Communiqué from the Environmental Committee of Cabañas for the Defense of Water and Culture (CAC)

As a result of this impunity, another case of violence has arisen – the disappearance of Juan Francisco Duran Ayala.  Thirty year-old Juan Francisco is a member of the CAC and was last seen over a week ago in the city of Ilobasco, Cabañas, putting up flyers and banners against mining and the Canadian mining company Pacific Rim as part of a CAC campaign. The CAC reports that the mayor of Ilobasco, Eliseo Castellano ordered members of the municipal police to remove the banners and intimidate the activists hanging them.

Read More »

Set back for democracy in El Salvador

June 9, 2011

On Friday, June 2, the Salvadoran Legislature passed Decree 743 and President Funes immediately signed it into law. The law requires that all decisions made by the Constitutional Court be unanimous. This will basically ensure that the groundbreaking decisions the Court has made in the past two years, increasing transparency in government spending and increasing citizen participation in the voting process, will come to an end.  This decree has been hailed an Institutional Coup by various civil society organizations and poses a serious threat to democracy in El Salvador.  Salvadorans from all sectors, including conservatives, the private sector, youth, professionals and civil society organizations, have been protesting since Friday, June 2 (see El Faro’s photo gallery). SHARE is supporting a project through our counterpart Iniciativa Social para la Democracia (ISD) to mobilize opposition to this decree.

For more detail, read the great analysis Voice From El Salvador wrote on their blog:

Salvadorans March to Protect the Enviornment

June 8, 2011

For international environment day, hundreds of Salvadorans gathered under an implacably blue sky and bright sun to march from the Savior of the World statue to the Legislative Assembly and present their demands for stronger, more coherent, and more effective environmental policy. The organizations, communities, and individuals gathered had three main asks for the Legislative Assembly: discuss and pass the general water law presented, that would protect citizens’ right and access to water, discuss and pass the law against mining developed by the National Roundtable Against Mining in 2006, and to discuss all of the other law proposals previously presented by civil society.

To see a slideshow of pictures from the march:

In El Salvador, over thirty different laws influence water policy, but there is no one law that solely addresses water policy. Current laws do not designate a process or policy for addressing competition for water use between the drinking water, energy, irrigation, and other sectors. A recent study published by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources shows that 92% of Salvadoran rivers are contaminated, and only 11% can be cleaned up effectively. Read More »

SHARE launches new website

June 7, 2011

SHARE El Salvador is pleased to announce that we have just launched our new website! Besides an exciting new look, the new site makes it easier for you to read project updates, interviews, and action alerts. Take a look now at!

Help us out by sharing the website with your friends and telling us what you think!

SHARE announces new vision for working with the Salvadoran community in the United States

June 6, 2011

As SHARE celebrates thirty years of solidarity with the people of El Salvador, we are pleased to announce an expansion of our mission. Beginning in 2011, SHARE will be working with the Salvadoran community in the United Sates in an effort to develop new strategic relationships and partnerships. It is our hope that this new binational focus on the Salvadoran community will increase our capacity to work towards justice and sustainability for all Salvadorans. Our current work in El Salvador will continue, now with this new and exciting binational dimension to our mission. We have revised our statement of mission as follows to take into account this new focus:

SHARE strengthens solidarity with and among the Salvadoran people in El Salvador and the United States in the struggle for economic sustainability, justice, and human and civil rights. Read More »

El Salvador’s Ex-Defense Minister Indicted in Killing of Six Jesuit Priests

May 30, 2011

MADRID — A Spanish judge on indicted 20 Salvadorans for the 1989 slaying of six Jesuit priests and two other people during the Central American country’s civil war.

Judge Eloy Velasco charged the 20 men, who served as military officials in El Salvador, with terrorist killings and crimes against humanity.

He issued international arrest warrants to Spanish police and Interpol for the 20 Salvadorans, who include former Salvadoran Defense Minister Rafael Humberto Larios and Rene Emilio Ponce, an army general and former defense minister who died May 2.

Read the complete article from the Huffington Post

SHARE modifies name

May 27, 2011

SHARE is excited to announce the simplification of our name so it better reflects our work. Streamlining our name to SHARE El Salvador, both affirms the name that has carried us through the past 30 years and incorporates our new work with Salvadoran community into our name. By continuing to use the name La Fundación SHARE in El Salvador we are once again celebrating our history by keeping the name that has become a recognizable symbol of solidarity in so many Salvadoran communities. While we will be using the new name in most places, our legal name will continue to be The SHARE Foundation.

The new name is already visible on our website and we are beginning to use it in other areas as well. We hope you will be as excited about this change as we are.

Interview with the Mujeres Ganaderas

May 25, 2011

Last fall, SHARE staff member Bethany Loberg interviewed members of the Mujeres Ganaderas Cooperative in the Bajo Lempa.  This article is the first in a series of profiles that we will be sharing with you.


One of the earliest members of the Mujeres Ganaderas, Fidelina has watched the cooperative grow from around 50 women in the early 1990s to 268 women today. Fidelina sees the cooperative as a real benefit to women, helping them learn, develop themselves, get along better, and make many friends. Trainings with Equpo Maíz have helped Fidelina and other participants learn about themselves, gender, and self-care. The purchase and sale of cattle has helped Fidelina economically to support her children’s studies and maintain her household. Before she joined the Mujeres Ganaderas, Fidelina spent all her time in the kitchen and the house, and didn’t have this opportunity to learn and grow. She passes all she learns on to her children.


Fidelina’s husband died young, leaving her to raise their six sons, the youngest of whom is now fourteen. Her six sons are very caring and supportive of her participation in the cooperative, especially since the cooperative has helped them over the years. Fidelina feels great trust in the cooperative; it has never failed them. Read More »

Echos of Impunity: From Monseñor Romero to Radio Victoria

This spring, the Romero Coalition has offered a Monday evening class on Monsignor Oscar Romero, and the case of his murder. Topics have included Monseñor Romero: The Historical Context; the Assassination of Monseñor Romero; The Salvadoran Amnesty Law; and The Monseñor Romero Case in the Interamerican Human Rights Commission, among others. On Monday, May 16th, the class focused on Monseñor Romero and Impunity. Mirna Perla, a Salvadoran Supreme Court Magistrate and long time human rights activist gave a moving talk about Monseñor Romero and continuing waves of impunity in El Salvador and beyond. The following is an excerpt from her talk:

Monseñor Romero was a simple man with the vocation of a prophet and a martyr. I had the good fortune to know him from a very young age. He was our parish priest. My mom was a very religious woman, always praying, and followed his every word. Read More »

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