Three years after the first aluminum surveying tags appeared in the hills above San José Las Flores, where, according to the Salvadoran mining code, company representatives have no legal right to be, the organized communities of Chalatenango continue to face the threat posed by international gold mining companies.  They also continue to organize against them.

As municipal, legislative, and presidential elections take center stage in El Salvador during the coming months, international mining companies will be less active.  They are waiting and hoping for a new mining law that would allow them freer rein in the country, a law that won’t be discussed during an election year because popular opposition to it is so widespread.

The communities of Chalatenango hold talleres, community workshops, to educate about and organize to prevent the destructive impacts of gold mining.  Following their excellent example, over the next six months, the Sister Cities e-bulletin will contain articles describing and analyzing different aspects of the Salvadoran mining struggle and the mining industry. 

We have stood in solidarity with the organized communities on this issue since the companies arrived, and will continue to do so. This is an embodiment both of our commitment to accompany our sister communities and organizations in their struggle for community sovereignty and the defense of natural resources, but also in the defense of human and civil rights, which will remain important as communities continue to resist this unwelcome incursion to their communities and lands. 

We will add links to the Analysis and Resistance Series as new articles become available, here.

[#1] Organizing in El Salvador, August 2008This update covers recent mining events in El Salvador, including analysis of Pacific Rim’s suspension of operations, continued education and resistance efforts in the communities, and examples of some of the deceptive tactics used by mining companies.

[#2] Educating Our Communities Against Propaganda, North and South :  This October, 2008 update covers the educational community organizing in Chalatenango, and details deliberate mining company strategies to co-opt and manipulate community opinion.

[#3]  Pacific Rim Out of El Salvador!  Campaign Kicks off November 12, 2008 : This update revisits current anti-mining organizing in El Salvador.  Also, don't miss this month for in-depth mining coverage.

[#4] Public Statements Grow Against Mineral Mining in El Salvador, February 2009 :  San Salvador's new Archbishop and President Tony Saca make strong statements against mining.

[#5] Mining Companies Turn to CAFTA and File Suit Against El Salvador : June, 2009: Facing local opposition to their mining projects, two mining companies are turning to international trade agreements in an attempt to force their projects through.


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