The SHARE Blog

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

December 11, 2008

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


US Financial Crisis Hits El Salvador Hard

Click here to watch a short video about the effects of the global financial crisis on El Salvador. The small city of Intipuca in El Salvador faces difficult times due to a decline in remittances from Salvadorans living and working in the U.S. The decline in the value of the U.S. dollar also continues to hurt families in El Salvador.

* Some of the video is in Spanish.

-Lars Joon Flydal, Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern

MCC Urges Nicaraguan Government to Respect Democracy – A Hint of What’s to Come for El Salvador?


Chief executive officer of the MCC, John Danilovich, has decided to reevaluate the aid package from MCC to Nicaragua due to irregularities regarding the recent municipal elections in Nicaragua.

This decision comes after recently-reelected Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega refused accreditation to independent election observers to monitor the elections, violence erupts in Nicaragua following the election results, and the opposition and unofficial election observers allege fraud. As a result, MCC has now suspended all disbursements to all projects and activities which are not already contracted with the MCA-Nicaragua, until further notice.

Danilovich states: “We had hoped, for the sake of the Nicaraguan people, that the government would continue the country’s trend towards peaceful, democratic, and credible elections,” I am afraid that recent evidence shows that this is not the case.” Read More »

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Bishops beg priests not to enter into political partisanship

Participation of priests in partisan politics would generate an environment of exclusion and could propagate violence in the society. This is the conclusion from the Central American bishops after their meeting in Ayagualo. They asked the clergy to stay out of partisan politics, and also refrain from instigating and initiating violence in the communities they live in.

The claim is that partisan politics would be destroying to the mandate of the priest as a figure for all of society. It would also hamper the proper identity and mission of the priests. The societal values of the priests should not be identified with certain political parties and it is not compatible to have both civil and religious power at the same time. Bishop Gonzalo de Villa from Guatemala claims that each person should have their own sphere of influence and interest. Read More »

Swiss expert warns about the impact on water from the mining

Swiss specialist in environmental chemistry warns about the dangers related to the approval of different mining exploration projects in El Salvador. The overall supply of the water resources, the quality of the water in the rivers nearby, and the health of the population living nearby are severely threatened by the mining projects.


Fresh water is highly susceptible to contamination because of the acid drainage coming from the mines. This drainage contains high levels of heavy metals which are damaging to the waters. This is very difficult to evade even with the use of “green methods” in the mining. These methods are promoted by the companies, but are considered to represent a small difference from the normal methods. Read More »

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