Don’t Let Mining Companies Pollute El Salvador’s Last Clean River

33537933.LempaRiverReservoir

Target: United States Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank

Goal: To prevent the company Pacific Rim from obtaining a mining permit in El Salvador.

El Salvador has had a history of respecting and preserving its ecological wonders. This respect extends all the way down to the community level. These communities include those within Cabanas, which has been extremely vocal in their rejection of mineral exploration and mining within their region.

Because of this, current El Salvador President Mauricio Funes pledges that he would not permit foreign companies to conduct mining operations in the country for the duration of his term. He made good on that promise when a Canadian mining company named Pacific Rim attempted to obtain a permit in 2009 to mine in El Salvador. The attempt at a permit was promptly refused and the company given word that the nation would not be approving any follow-up attempts.

Unfortunately, Pacific Rim has now attempted to challenge the environmental policy of El Salvador by seeking to circumvent the legal policy of a sovereign nation. Pacific Rim filed a lawsuit against the government of El Salvador for not issuing them a mining permit in that nation. To make matters worse, Pacific Rim attempted to cheat the international arbitration process by changing the nationality of its subsidiary, Pac Rim Cayman, LLC. to a United States entity located in Reno, Nevada. This would allow the company the capacity to enter into arbitration proceedings with El Salvador as a company technically now a U.S. entity.

Mining at the site desired by Pacific Rim, a region in Cabanas known as El Dorado, would contaminate El Salvador’s largest and last existing clean water source, the Lempa River. Communities in the region have already been impacted by past incidences of pollution from mineral exploration; this final step would destroy the region’s aquaculture industry.

For concerns both environmental and ethical, Pacific Rim must not be allowed to mine in El Salvador.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Blank,

El Salvador’s growing emphasis on environmental protection is to be lauded and encouraged within the international community. This emphasis on the nation’s environment extends all the way down to the community level. These communities include those within Cabanas, which has been extremely vocal in their rejection of mineral exploration and mining within their region.

This protection has also reached the executive office where President Mauricio Funes pledged that he would not permit foreign companies to conduct mining operations within El Salvador for the duration of his term. That promise was fulfilled when a Canadian mining company named Pacific Rim attempted to obtain a permit in 2009 to mine in El Salvador. The attempt at a permit was immediately refused, with word sent to the company that the nation would not be approving any follow up attempts.

Rather than respect the wishes of El Salvador, Pacific Rim has now attempted to challenge the environmental policy of El Salvador itself, using international courts as a way to circumvent the laws of a sovereign nation. Pacific Rim filed a lawsuit against the government of El Salvador regarding the legality of their decision to not afford the company a mining permit. Even more egregious, Pacific Rim attempted to cheat the international arbitration process by changing the nationality of its subsidiary, Pac Rim Cayman, LLC. to a United States entity located in Reno, Navada. This would allow the company the capacity to enter into arbitration proceedings with El Salvador as is the right of companies declared to be U.S. entity.

The region Pacific Rim seeks to mine in, known as El Dorado, would subject El Salvador’s largest and last existing clean water source, the Lempa River to contamination and runoff. Communities in the region have already been impacted by past incidences of pollution from mineral exploration; this final step would destroy the region’s aquaculture industry.

This must not be allowed to happen. To make an ethical stand against corporate interests, as well as protect El Salvador’s environment, Pacific Rim must never be given the chance to mine in that nation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. These corporations will take advantage whenever they can, especially in foreign countries where there is a lot of profit to be made without representation of the native population.

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