The SHARE Blog

150 Soldiers Currently Occupying the Community of El Papaturro in Suchitoto

December 17, 2008

This morning, three large trucks carrying a total of 150 soldiers armed with heavy artillery entered the community of El Papaturro, in the zone of La Bermuda, Suchitoto. The soldiers have set up a military camp and said that they will be in the community for the next three days doing “military maneuvers.” The mayor of Suchitoto has called the police and regional military base, and has been given no further information about the soldiers.

This act of aggression comes after the Salvadoran government recently declared that it as intelligence of secret armed groups active in various parts of El Salvador, including the region of La Bermuda, Suchitoto. Although the government continues to speak about these groups, which they link to the opposition party, the FMLN, they have shared no evidence to prove their existence. The government has implied that these supposed groups are a revival of guerrilla soldiers from the Civil War, and a threat to the Salvadoran military. Read More »

El Salvador Responds to Pacific Rim’s Legal Action

In response to Pacific Rim Mining Company’s December 9 announcment of filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to arbitrate against the Salvadoran government under CAFTA for failing to grant mining exploitation permits, notable figures in Salvadoran civic and religious society have taken a stand against the mining company. On December 14 after a mass in the metropolitan cathedral, the Archbishop of San Salvador, Fernando Sáenz Lacalle criticized Pacific Rim, “It is not right to risk the health of the people and damage the environment so that a few who do not live here can take 97% of the juicy earnings but they leave us with 100% of the cyanide.” His statement is consistent with those made by the participants of the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops in El Salvador in 2007, where the Bishops released a statement of opposition to gold and silver mining in El Salvador.

The Mesa de Minería, the Salvadoran national coalition of anti-mining groups, issued a press release following Pacific Rim’s announcement. The Mesa urged people from all sectors of Salvadoran society to protest Pacific Rim Mining Company. The Mesa also promoted its most recent campaign, “I Reject Metallic Mining: Sign the Citizen’s Letter,” which demands that the Salvadoran president, Antonio Saca, not approve mining projects and calls for the Legislative Assembly endorse a law the prohibits metallic mining.

Click here to visit the Mesa de Minería’s website and sign the Citizen’s Letter against mining.

– Sara Skinner, SHARE Foundation

FMLN Presidential Candidate to Speak in Washington, DC Tomorrow

December 11, 2008

Mauricio Funes, FMLN presidential candidate, will speak at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Washington, DC on Friday, December 12, 2008. The event, sponsored by the FMLN, will begin at 4:30PM, and Mauricio Funes is expected to speak at 5:30PM. SHARE Foundation is not co-sponsoring the event, but we encourage folks in the area to attend to hear what the presidential candidate has to say.

Wesley United Methodist Church is located at the UDC-Van Ness metro stop on the red line. The L1, L2, and L4 buses also stop near the church.

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

Antonio Saca Scheduled to Visit White House Next Week

President Bush will be meeting with Salvadoran President Antonio Saca on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at the White House. In a White House press release on December 8, 2008, the White House stated that the two out-going country leaders will discuss “a range of issues, including their shared commitment to strengthening democracy and advancing economic development.”

Read the press release here.

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator


El Salvador Declared One of the Most Polluted Countries in the Region

The World Bank released a report documenting climate change yesterday that warned El Salvador of future, and more frequent, tropical storms and hurricanes. The World Bank predicts that by 2025, the amount of damages due to tropical storms and hurricanes will quadruple. The predicted damages include in increase in disaster-related illnesses, such as malaria and dengue fever, and deaths.

The World Bank gave some hope by pointing out that these climate change effects are still preventable, but El Salvador must address its grave pollution problem. The report cited El Salvador as one of the most polluted countries in the region. Researchers found that greenhouse gas emissions rose by 14% in El Salvador between 1990 and 2000, in comparison to the 0.6% increase in the rest of Central America. Gases from energy production and consumption rose by 136% in the same time period in El Salvador, in comparison to 40% in the rest of the region.

The World Bank’s chief economist, Augusto de la Torre, urged municipal governments to invest in clean energy, hydroelectric energy, reforestation, more eneregy-efficient transportation systems, and fewer pollutants.

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

Pacific Rim Filed a Notice of Intent to Seek CAFTA Arbitration

December 9, 2008

Pacific Rim Mining Corporation announced his morning that it has filed a Notice of Intent to seek CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) arbitration against the Salvadoran government for prohibiting the company to mine in El Salvador. Pacific Rim says that the Salvadoran government’s failure to issue exploration and exploitation permits to the company has cost the company significant financial losses. Pacific Rim argues that because it has invested over $75 million in El Salvador, the company is entitled to the mining permits.

Tom Shrake, President and CEO of Pacific Rim stated, “It is with deep regreat that we must now pursue our legal rights through the initiation of a CAFTA action and we intend to pursue these rights vigorously. Read More »

Prudencia Ayala Feminist Coalition Publishes Platform for 2009-2014

The Prudencia Ayala Feminist Coalition, a group of feminist organizations in El Salvador, announced their platform and demands for 2009-2014. Their demands fall under the following seven themes:

  1. Comprehensive health for women
  2. Institutional and public policy
  3. Political participation: “women in power”
  4. Women’s access to education
  5. Economic rights
  6. Autonomy over our own bodies
  7. Violence against women: “no more violence” Read More »

NACLA Article on Mauricio Funes

December 8, 2008

In an article dated November 19, 2008, the North American Conference on Latin America (NACLA) profiles Mauricio Funes’ and the FMLN’s rise in populartity in the 2009 Salvadoran elections. NACLA cites the FMLN’s call for open social dialogue and the resulting creation of 32 mesas (committees) that encourage new forms of widespread political participation as reasons why more and more Salvadorans are leaning towards Funes in the presidential election in 2009.

Click here to read the NACLA article.

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

CONFRAS Criticizes the Right in a Press Release

December 2, 2008

In a press release from 27th of November 2008, the farmers association, CONFRAS, stated their dissatisfaction with the right-wing neglect of their demands. During 2008 they have made a series of proposals to the Legislative Assembly for changes in agricultural laws. None of these proposals have neither been discussed nor approved by deputies from the conservative parties.

Salvadoran farmers are facing hard times due to the vulnerable state of the agricultural industry. CONFRAS states that the Salvadoran government is not willing to put much effort into protecting them, and an increasing amount of food products in El Salvador are being imported from abroad. 81% of all rice in the country comes from other countries, and 42% of the corn. Read More »

Reopening of Jesuit Priests Murder Case – Interview with Diane Orentlicher and Douglas Farah

Click on the link below to listen to this radio show on WAMU in Washington D.C. The interview discusses the infamous and tragic murders of the six Jesuits priests and two women in November 1989, and it discusses the reopening of this case and the outlook for the process. The guests are Diane Orentlicher, Professor of International Law and Director of War Crimes Research Office, American University, and Douglas Farah, former Washington Post Correspondent in El Salvador from 1987-1990.

Click here for the link to the radio show.

– Lars Joon Flydal, Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern

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