by CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador)
On December 26, 2009, Dora “Alicia” Recinos Sorto, age 32, was assassinated, the second anti-mining activist killed this week in the small community of Nueva Trinidad in the department of Cabañas. Recinos Sorto was eight months pregnant and carrying her two-year old child when she was shot on her way back from doing laundry at a nearby river.
Rodríguez is a board member of the Environmental Committee of Cabañas, an organization that formed to educate the community about health and environmental risks of cyanide contamination from gold extraction.
The Committee's vice-president, Ramiro Rivera, was gunned down on December 20 despite having been under 24-hour police protection since being shot eight times in August. His wife, Felícita Echevarría, was also killed in the attack. Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes vowed to investigate the murders, stating, “I hope this case will not remain in impunity the way that so many others do.”
The ongoing violence in Cabañas, including assaults, attempted kidnappings, and death threats, seems to be centred around the controversial presence of Pacific Rim Mining in the region, with prominent anti-mining leaders coming under attack. Pacific Rim ceased activity at the El Dorado site after local protests forced the company out and the Salvadoran government subsequently denied extraction permits. President Funes also stated his opposition to the project during his presidential campaign earlier this year and University of Central America polls show that over 62% of the population opposes gold mining.
In response, Pacific Rim opened an investor-state arbitration case against the Salvadoran government in April under the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA (Pacific Rim filed the suit through a recently acquired subsidiary, Pac Rim Cayman, based in Reno, Nevada.) According to Pacific Rim CEO Thomas Shrake, the company is seeking “hundreds of millions” of dollars in the arbitration, which is scheduled to begin in early 2010.
Contact: Alexis Stoumbelis, CISPES (978) 394-0425
What You Can Do:
Please see "Urgent Action: Threats and Violence Against Community Leaders in Cabañas, El Salvador" for addresses of the relevant authorities to write to expressing your outrage that this has been permitted to happen, your concern for the safety of community activists in Cabañas, and urging that immediate steps be taken to investigate these murders, asaults, and threats, and to prevent more.
Canadian Mining in Latin America: Paramilitaries, Assassinations, and Impunity (from Upsidedownworld.org, December 28, 2009)
El Salvador: Company Promoters Shred Social Fabric of Communities (from Upsidedownworld.org, November 18, 2008)
and the following two articles:
written by Jason Wallach on Upsidedownworld.org
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Catherine McLeod-Seltzer has enjoyed a broad and successful career in the mining industry, including co-founding and/or directing numerous successful mining ventures such as Arequipa Resources, Francisco Gold, Miramar Mining, Peru Copper, Bear Creek Mining, Stornoway Diamonds, and Kinross. Catherine brings an extensive knowledge of mining finance and public relations as well as her exceptional reputation and network of industry contacts to Pacific Rim's Board of Directors.
As President and CEO of Pacific Rim, Tom Shrake oversees Pacific Rim's technical programs and project acquisitions, and implements the Company's objectives and strategies. Tom is a veteran explorationist and mine-finder, holding senior positions in the past with Gibraltar Mines and Placer Dome amongst others. Tom has numerous ore deposit discoveries to his credit, including the Lomas Bayas and Fortuna de Cobre deposits in Chile. Tom has his finger on the pulse of the mining industry and his market savvy is a strong balance to his technical expertise.
Bill Myckatyn is the co-founder of Quadra Mining Ltd. and the former President of Dayton Mining Corporation (a predecessor company of Pacific Rim). Amongst his previous career roles, Bill was the President and CEO of Gibraltar Mines, and stewarded the company's $550 million CAD takeover by Westmin Resources in 1996. Bill is a mining engineer with extensive technical and management experience in mining development and operations.
Now retired, Tony Petrina has a wealth of experience in the mining industry. His 32-year career with Placer Dome included the roles of President, Vice-Chairman and CEO. Mr. Petrina was also a Director of Arequipa Resources and his expertise was integral in helping the company manage the takeover by Barrick.
David Fagin lends his extensive experience in mining and finance to Pacific Rim's Board as the Chair of the Audit Committee. David is the former COO of Homestake Mining Company and is currently a director of a number of mining and exploration companies, and of various mutual funds of the T. Rowe Price Group.
Second opponent to Pacific Rim slain this week
by Moira Peters on Mediacoop.ca
December 27, 2009
Nearly two years ago, he lost two fingers because he opposed a Canadian-owned gold mine in Cantina Trinidad, El Salvador. Yesterday, Jose Santos Rodriguez lost his wife, some say for the same reason.
Dora Alicia Sorto Recinos, 32, was shot and killed yesterday at 3:30 pm when she was returning home from doing laundry in a nearby river. She was eight months pregnant. Her son, who was accompanying her, was shot in the foot.
Santos Rodriguez is a farmer and active member of the Environmental Committee of Cabañas (CAC), a citizen group in opposition to Pacific Rim's proposed El Dorado gold mine. In April, 2008, he was attacked by Oscar Menjivar, a neighbour who had relationships with local mayors who supported the mine. In the attack, Menjivar cut off two of Santos Rodriguez' fingers with a machete.
According to a press release by Movimiento Unificado Francisco Sánchez-1932 (MUFRAS-32), Sorto Recinos had recently informed MUFRAS-32 that men with rifles had come to her house, looking for her husband. He was not home at the time.
The assassination of Sorto Recinos is the second murder this week of an opponent to Pacific Rim's proposed El Dorado mine, and the latest in a string of assassinations of civilian opponents to Canadian mining projects in Latin America.
Ramiro Rivera Gomez was shot and killed on December 20, in spite of 24-hour police protection.
MUFRAS-32 says the community is most alarmed by the lack of police investigation into these crimes. There have been no arrests for Rivera Gomez' assassination, and the community sees only "the most serious lack of will in discovering the causes of these murders," according to the release.
- Second Anti-Mining Activist Killed in El Salvador
- El Salvador's National Coalition Against Metallic Mining Condemns the Murders of Ramiro Rivera and Felícita Echeverría
- Urgent Action: Threats and Violence Against Community Leaders in Cabañas, El Salvador
- IUCN Assembly Opposes Mining In Central America
- Central American Countries Protest Canadian Government's Role in Mining
- Technical Review of the El Dorado Mine Project Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), El Salvador