San Salvador, May 31st 2018. Last week the Environment and Climate Change Committee of the Legislative Assembly moved to archive all files and petitions related metallic mining in El Salvador, declaring that the "subject is closed" because “there is already a Law that permanently prohibits it”.
Organizations that for years have led the antimining struggle in El Salvador such ADES, CRIPDES, UNES, ARPAS and UCA welcome this action because before the new legislature was installed, we warned the country about the dangers of reverting of this Law and we demanded that the newly elected legislators maintain the prohibition of mining.
The closing of the file, however, will not make us lower our guard and we will remain vigilant of any attempt to modify or repeal the law that was approved unanimously and that responds to a national consensus on the environmental, social and economic unviability of this harmful industry in our country. We also demand that the Executive government, specifically the Ministries of Economy and Environment, advance in the implementation of all the provisions of the Law.
In this regard, it is necessary to ensure financing for the conversion of the economic activities of artisanal miners in the community of San Sebastian, La Unión. We also demand from the Ministry of the Interior that it proceeds to de-register the El Dorado Foundation from the Registry of Non-Profit Associations and Foundations, this foundation works as a façade of the for the OceanaGold mining company and remains active in some communities in Cabañas while it has modified its mandate to work at the national level. In our view, the existence of this foundation is illegal because it promotes an economic for profit activity prohibited by law.
ADES, CRIPDES, UNES, ARPAS and UCA propose that our government close once and for all this nefarious chapter of mining in El Salvador, we reiterate our call to the Legislative Assembly to reject any attempt to revert the Law approved in March 2017 and ask our Executive to expel from the country any remnant (foundations, committees, subsidiaries etc.) of Pacific Rim/Oceana Gold and of any another mining company that are still operating in the national territory.