The SHARE Blog

President Funes condemns murder of anti-mining activist

July 7, 2011

In a press release issues June 28, President Mauricio Funes condemned the recent murder of anti-mining activist Juan Francisco Durán Ayala and reaffirmed his opposition to mining in El Salvador. The press release read as follows:

The President of the Republic, Mauricio Funes, energetically condemned today the murder of Juan Francisco Durán Ayala, a volunteer with the EnvironmentalCommittee of Cabañas, which was perpetrated by unknown subjects last July third.

“As President of the Republic I lament any murder that happens in the country,regardless of motives, of course I feel the pain of the family and the environmentalmovement in loss of these four leading environmental defenders” expressed President Funes upon condemning the murder of Durán Ayala and the three other environmentalists which have occurred in recent years in the department of Cabañas. Read More »

Video: Environmental Justice and Climate Change Work with REDES

June 29, 2011

Help 20 Women Get Microloans by Joining Us on

June 24, 2011

Help 20 women from the Mujeres Ganaderas Cooperative improve their food security and financial stability with a microloan to grow corn. Helping is simple. Support SHARE’s project on by sharing it with your friends and/or making a donation! Watch this video to learn more about this amazing group of women!

Tiny loans lead to big changes for Yanira

June 20, 2011

Yanira Azuceno Montano

The rising cost of food and the increasingly volatile weather conditions are destabilizing the already precarious situation of many women throughout rural El Salvador. Yanira Azuceno Montano is an example of this. Yanira has two children, ages 7 and 10, and her husband works as a day laborer harvesting sugar cane. Last year their community in the Lower Lempa was drenched with so much rain that Yanira and many other families were unable to plant their normal crops of corn and beans. Corn and beans are a food staple for most Salvadoran families, so not being able to plant is a huge set back.

Despite these challenges, Yanira continues to thrive due to her involvement with the Mujeres Ganaderas (or the Women’s Cattle Cooperative in English). Yanira has been a participating member of Mujeres Ganaderas since she was 17. She is now 29 and has two children, ages 7 and 10. Her husband works as a day laborer, harvesting sugar cane. This past year the rainy season drenched the communities of the lower region of the Lempa River with too much water to plant their normal crops of corn and beans, making other sources of income more vital than ever.

When Yanira first joined the Mujeres Ganaderas, El Salvador still used colones. She initially received a loan of 1,000 colones (roughly US$155). This was enough to buy one or two cows to start out and little by little move forward. Read More »

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 »

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