Collateral damage from banning gold mining

Many people around the world celebrated when El Salvador became the first country to ban all metallic mining including gold mining.    In tiny El Salvador, with limited water resources free of contamination, the threat of environmental degradation from mines was seen as too great.   Add to that, most believed that the economic benefits would only go to the multi-national companies which would own and operate the mines.

But an article in the Guardian reminds us that there is another class of gold miners in El Salvador.  "Artisanal" gold miners, who dig for gold by hand from small, older mines, will soon be put out of business by the new law.   As one of these miners stated:
“We’re lucky if we get $20 or $40 every two days. There are weeks when we don’t find any gold,” he says. Soza has worked all his life as a güirisero, the Salvadoran term for a small-scale, artisanal miner. He works five days a week inside an underground mine, dragging carts filled with heavy rocks or dealing with the hazards of mercury, yet he barely makes enough money to support his wife and two children. But Soza refuses to complain. 
“I like the work here,” he says. “I’m my own boss. We built the mine with our own hands and we know it’s safe. We don’t use any bad chemicals, that’s a lie. We eat the fruit that grows around here and none of us are sick. I know people who worked as miners and lived to be 95. 
“There are no jobs in this area. If they take mining away from us it will be a disaster.” He disappears back underground.
The article in the Guardian points out that the law prohibiting mining has a two year transition period for small scale miners like this one.   After that, they will be out of a job.    In a country where jobs are scarce and rural poverty is high, those who won the victory over gold mining should also be advocating for support programs for the artisan miners of El Salvador.